The Government has updated the law ensuring that drivers who use hand-held phones behind the wheel will face £200 fines and potential bans when changes in the law take account of smartphones.
The reform would bring an end to a loophole that currently allows drivers to avoid prosecution for taking a picture or playing a game using a hand-held phone. The legal loophole currently describes the offence as “interactive communication.”
Baroness Vere, Roads minister stated that, “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 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.”
Requests to also ban the use of handsfree features, such as using a sat-nav in a phone cradle, were refused by ministers. Mobile phones will still be able to be used to pay for a drive-thru takeaway.