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Emergency Alert system test – 23rd April

17 Apr 2023

A 10 second government alert, sounding like a siren, will be tested across smartphones in the UK at 3pm (15:00) on Sunday 23rd April.

It is important that drivers are made aware of when the system test will take place in order that they are prepared and understand how to respond, and that where possible journeys are scheduled to avoid the period when the alert is due to take place.  Government have issued advice ahead of the test:

You MUST NOT hold a mobile phone while driving or riding a motorcycle. It is illegal to do so. If you receive an alert while driving, do not pick up your phone and attempt to deal with the message. Continue driving as normal, staying in full control of your vehicle. If you feel the need to look at your phone, you must find a safe and legal place to pull over first.

The Emergency Alert system will enable contact with people via all compatible mobile phones in a risk area.   The alerts, which can only be sent by government and emergency services, will be used in times of risk to life, emergencies such as severe flooding, civil defence and terrorist incidents.  For those without mobile phones contact will be made through other channels.

It is always recommended that mobile phones are switched off whilst driving so as not to be a distraction.  With the phone off the alert will not be received, but the alert will still sound if the phone is switched to silent. 

Further information: