Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is an offence punishable by a £200 fine with six penalty points, so it’s simply not worth the risk.
Here’s some sensible advice from road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist on how to avoid mobile phone temptation.
It’s also worth remembering that hands-free use may be legal, but drivers still risk being distracted when dialling, talking, texting or browsing their phones during journeys.
Government figures for 2021 (the latest available) show that 1% of drivers were observed using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving.
The worst group of offenders were van drivers (1.9%) compared with car drivers (0.8%), while males aged 17 to 29 were the most likely to be observed using a mobile phone.
Stay safe with these simple tips
- You’re allowed to use a mobile phone when you are safely parked, with the engine off and the handbrake on.
- Please do not pick up your phone in any other driving situation, including when you’re stationary at traffic lights or queueing in traffic.
- The only exception to this is if it’s an emergency and it would be unsafe or impractical to stop, in which case you may call 999.
- Don’t assume that using a hands-free kit means you have dealt with the risk. You are still allowing yourself to be distracted from the task of safe driving, and you could still be prosecuted for not being in control (an offence that carries a £100 fine and three penalty points).
- Take a few minutes before a journey to make important calls or to check voice messages and emails. Work together with friends, family, colleagues and work contacts to remove the expectation that we should all be available, all the time.
- Plan journeys to build in breaks from driving, where you can call, text or email or interact with social media in a safe environment.