The Government plans to close a ‘loophole’ that currently allows drivers to use hand held devices. If they are playing a game or taking a photograph.
Mobile phone use by drivers ‘loophole’ set to close: At the present time if a driver is found doing either of these activities they can escape punishment. Now the Department of Transport has consulted with the Government to change the law. So that texting and calls are not the only functions banned when you are driving. Under the new plans an exemption will be made for using a hand held device for contactless payment. But the vehicle must be stationary, such as paying for food at a drive through takeaway.
Ministers did reject plans for the banning of hands-free functions. As this, they said, would not impede the driver’s concentration. Baroness Vere, Roads Minister, said “Our roads are some of the safest in the world. But we want to make sure they’re safer still by bringing the law into the 21st century. That’s why we’re looking to strengthen the law to make using a hand-held phone while driving illegal. In a wider range of circumstances.”
“It’s distracting and dangerous, and for too long risky drivers have been able to escape punishment. But this update will mean those doing the wrong thing will face the full force of the law.” Pending the outcome of the consultation the change in the law is expected to be ushered in early next year. And will apply right across the UK. During 2019 statistics showed that there were 18 deaths and 135 serious injuries in accidents caused by drivers using mobile phones while driving.
The punishment for using one while driving is currently a £200 fine. Additionally, 6 penalty points on the drivers licence.
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