Any use of a hand-held mobile phone while driving will be made a criminal offence, the Government has announced.
The move will make it illegal to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists, or play games while at the wheel from 2022.
The move comes after texting and making phone calls (other than in an emergency) was made a criminal offence in 2007.
Mandeep Sehmi, a Solicitor with Mander Hadley who specialises in motoring law, said: “This change in the law will mean that anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice (FPN) and six points on their licence.
“As part of the plans, the Government will also make it clear that being stationary in traffic counts as driving – meaning it is illegal to use hand-held devices at traffic lights or in motorway jams.
“Motorists will still be permitted to continue using a hands-free device, such as a sat-nav, providing it is secured in a cradle. Drivers will also be allowed to make contactless payments using their mobile phone while stationary, such as at a drive-through restaurant or on a toll road.”
The change comes after a court overturned a charge for using a mobile phone while driving as the user was filming a crash, rather than using the device for “communication” reasons.
The Department for Transport said the measure will help police “more easily prosecute drivers”.
“Too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users.”
In a consultation published last year, eight in 10 (81 per cent) adults supported proposals to strengthen the law and make it easier for culprits to be prosecuted.
If you been accused of committing a motoring or criminal offence, we help clients through all stages of the criminal justice process. For advice and representation, please get in touch with our expert team today.
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