Strict new laws and £200 fines for drivers ‘scrolling through playlists’
UK drivers caught using hand-held devices will face fines and points on their licence in tough new laws.
The Government is strengthening existing laws on using mobile phones while driving to include scrolling through playlists and taking photos.
It’s already illegal to make phone calls or text while behind the wheel, unless in an emergency.
The new laws will make it easier for police to prosecute drivers caught using hand-held devices, with £200 fines and six points on driving licences.
That includes when cars are in stationary traffic, like at traffic lights or in traffic jams.
The news was announced this morning by the Department for Transport.
Drivers will be able to use hands-free modes still for things like navigation apps, but only if the phone’s secured in a cradle.
Another exemption will be when drivers need to use contactless payments – like at the entrance to toll roads, or in drive-thrus – to ‘ensure the law keeps pace with technology’.
But they can still be charged with an offence if they’re found to ‘not be in proper control of their vehicle’.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held.
“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.
“While our roads remain among the safest in the world, we will continue working tirelessly to make them safer, including through our award-winning THINK! campaign, which challenges social norms among high-risk drivers.”
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Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: “Driver distraction can be deadly and using a hand-held phone at the wheel is never worth the risk.
“This important road safety decision by government, coinciding with Road Safety Week, is very welcomed.
“This news is particularly welcomed by families suffering bereavement and catastrophic injury due to drivers being distracted by phones.
“The theme for Road Safety Week is road safety heroes – we can all be road safety heroes by giving driving our full attention.”
Featured image: Pixabay