It all changed in 2017 – the fines and penalties for using your phone whilst driving went up from 3 to 6 penalty points and from a £100 to a £200 fine! 

But that isn’t all it will cost you!

Research has found that this offence can also see the cost of your car insurance soar by as much as 40% and will continue to increase for a number of years following this!  Not only that, you could also be declined for car insurance.  Research by the AA found that four out of nine insurance companies questioned would refuse to insure someone with this type of offence.

So what exactly is the law on using a handheld mobile phone while driving?

It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.

You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.

If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.

Using hands-free (e.g. for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.

The best thing to do is remove the temptation of using your mobile phone whilst driving so why not…

  • Put your phone away before driving so you won’t be tempted to use it. Make the glove compartment the phone compartment.
  • Don’t call other people when they’re driving.
  • Use hands-free devices responsibly.

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