Changes to the mobile phone law – what drivers need to know

Using a handheld mobile phone has been illegal since 2003, but on 1st March 2017, the penalties if caught have tightened considerably.

  • Drivers found guilty will receive 6 points on their licence and a fine of £200
  • There is no option to take a driver education course in lieu of the points
  • Young drivers within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked.

How to comply with the law

According to THINK!, the road safety organisation:

  • Your hands-free enabled mobile phone or tablet can be in a cradle or other secure holder, but not in your hand, so texting and checking social media are forbidden
  • Don’t touch or re-programme the device while driving, even to answer a call or change your music.
  • Don’t use your phone or tablet while you are waiting at traffic lights or queuing in stationary traffic, even if the hand brake is on.
  • To use a handheld phone, park the car safely and turn the engine off (unless it’s an emergency, you need to call 999, and it’s not safe or practical to stop)
  • You may use your mobile phone as a hands-free sat-nav device, but don’t touch or re-programme it while driving.

Even with a hands-free kit, drivers are slower to react to potential hazards; accidents can still happen. Drivers can still be prosecuted for careless driving, even if they follow the law for using a mobile phone, if the police think they’re distracted by their phone or tablet.

THINK! recommends that drivers put their phones out of reach while driving to avoid temptation and to use hands-free devices responsibly.

If you’re looking for young driver insurance after a mobile phone conviction and need help finding a competitive premium, ask 4 Young Drivers for a quote.

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Released On 6th Mar 2017

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