If you have received a summons or Notice of Intended Prosecution for an offence involving the use of a mobile phone whilst driving and are looking for some legal help then we are here to listen and advise you — contact us now!
Few people realise how wide the law on driving whilst using a mobile phone is. The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 as amended creates three offences, namely driving whilst using a hand-held mobile telephone or other hand-held communication device; causing or permitting someone to drive whilst that person is using a hand-held mobile telephone or other hand-held communication device; and supervising a learner driver whilst using a hand-held mobile telephone or other hand-held communication device at a time when the learner driver is driving a motor vehicle on a road.
Breach of these regulations can lead to an on-the-spot fine of £200 plus 6 penalty points, and if it reaches Court it may result in a fine up to £1,000 (£2,500 for drivers of buses or goods vehicles). The Court may also disqualify the driver.
The prohibition will apply for the use of a mobile phone when stuck in a traffic jam, or when queuing in traffic. If your mobile phone rings when you are driving you should let it ring and return the call when safely parked with your engine switched off.
“Using” a mobile phone does not just mean talking into an actual mobile phone. It can include any communication, whether by way of SMS texts, e-mail, faxes, video/picture/voice/multimedia messaging, and anything over the internet. Furthermore, this communication may be on any device (other than a two-way radio) which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.
There is an exemption if (a) the call is to the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency service using 112 or 999, (b) the caller is acting in response to a genuine emergency and (c) it is unsafe or impracticable to cease the driving in order to make the call.
Employers should also beware as they may break the law by telling or instructing their employees to use mobile phones. Not only could employers be prosecuted under the Regulations but they might also commit an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The comments above are general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or procedure. Expert advice should always be sought on this area. We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise.