Mobile Phones

It's hard for young people to be separated from their mobile phones but
using one when you are a driving is extremely dangerous and can have
serious consequences.

The law

It is against the law for drivers to use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, while driving. It applies to all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, but not bicycles.

It is an offence to 'cause or permit' a driver to use a hand-held mobile phone while
driving,or to use a hand-held mobile phone while supervising a driver who only has a provisional licence. 

The penalty

  • If you are caught using a mobile phone you will receive a fixed penalty of £100 or, if you have to go to court, a fine of up to £1,000
  • You will also receive 3 penalty points on your licence
  • The fine is £2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles or passenger carrying vehicles with 9 or more passenger seats.

Definition of a hand held phone

A hand-held phone is defined as 'a device, other than a two-way radio, which performs
an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data'. A 'mobile
telephone or other device is to be treated as hand-held if it is, or must be, held at some
point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function'.

'Interactive communication function' includes:

  • Sending or receiving oral or written messages
  • Sending or receiving facsimile documents
  • Sending or receiving still or moving images
  • Providing access to the internet.

There are two exemptions:

  • 2-way 'press to talk' radios, as used by the emergency services and taxi drivers
  • Using a hand-held phone for a genuine emergency call to 999 or 112, if it would be unsafe for the driver to stop.