From the 25th March 2022 motorists will break the law if they use a hand held mobile phone behind the wheel for virtually any use any use, whether online or offline, including taking photos or videos, scrolling playlists or playing games. Following a public consultation that found 81% of respondents supported proposals to make it easier for culprits to be prosecuted the loophole previously exploited has closed.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, is taking a zero tolerance approach to those who decide to risk lives by using their phone whilst behind the wheel. He says this is a vital law and those who break it can face punishment for doing so. Being caught using a hand-held device while driving can incur a fine of up to £1,000 as well as 6 penalty points, and even a full driving ban.
The law still applies to you if you’re:
- stopped at traffic lights
- queuing in traffic
- supervising a learner driver
- driving a car that turns off the engine when you stop moving
- holding and using a device that’s offline or in flight mode
The government’s award-winning THINK! Team launched the Hands on the wheel? Hands off your phone awareness campaign to remind drivers not to use a handheld phone at the wheel. The campaign will run across video on demand, online video, social media channels and radio in England and Wales until the end of April and show friends appearing in the back seat to intervene when a driver is tempted to use their phone behind the wheel.
There are exceptions to make emergency calls to 999 or 112. Drivers are able to make contactless payments, for example, at drive-throughs, so long as their vehicle is stationary. They can also still use a device ‘hands-free’ while driving if it’s secured in a cradle, allowing motorists to use their phone as a sat-nav. They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.