Stricter legislation for phone users
October 19, 2020
Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist welcomes the recent UK government announcement that the law on the use of a mobile phone while driving is to be changed. Under the new legislation, drivers who use hand-held phones in any way while at the wheel will face a fine of £200 and six points on their licence.
Making calls or texting on a hand-held mobile while driving is already against the law, however scrolling through music playlists, playing games or taking photographs have up until now not been included – and drivers have been able to exploit the legal loophole because these activities fell outside the scope of ‘interactive communication’.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth warned it was now vital for more roads policing officers to be available to ensure the new law would be effective. “The update to this law is welcome, because any activity involving a mobile phone while driving is a potentially fatal distraction,” he said.
“But we must see more police patrols out there looking for the drivers who continue to flout the rules. Action needs to be taken against anyone who is prepared to risk their own life – or someone else’s – by selfishly using a hand-held phone while driving.”
Specific mobile phone driving laws were introduced in December 2003 which saw motorists handed a £60 fine for an offence before rising to £100 in 2013.
Fines increased to £200 and penalty points endorsements doubled in 2017, to act as a further deterrent.