The Legality of Using a Phone Whilst Driving
FAQ for the Answers to questions you need to know.
Its now illegal to use you phone in any capacity whilst you drive. However this doesn't stop the majority of people from doing so. Talking on the phone whilst driving is now one of the largest causes of accidents in Britain and is a major factor in a lot of deaths on the roads. Many experts now liken phone-driving to the effects of drink-driving in that concentration levels are reduced significantly and reaction times reduce by 50%. In fact you are four time more likely to crash while you phone-drive than driving normally.
When Did the Law Change?
The first Law banning the use of a hand held mobile phone whilst driving came into effect on the first of December 2003, However newer laws on the subject came into effect on the 27th of Feb 2007.
How Will i Be Penalised if i use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving?
The Previous Penalty was a £30 fine, however as of 27th of feb 2007 police are able to issue an on the spot fine of £60 and 3 penalty points will be endorsable to the drivers licence.
Any Cases that go to court could involve a discretionary disqualification and a fine of up to £1000.00, In the case of a bus, coach or goods vehicle the fine could be increased to £2500.00.
What Part of communicating while driving is illegal?
The use of a hand held mobile or similar device. It is also illegal to supervise a learner and use a hand held phone. However If the police were to spot you driving dangerously while in conversation with passengers you are also committing an offence and can be prosecuted.
Are Bluetooth Handsfree car kits Legal?
Yes, the use of a handsfree kit is legal. However if you drive poorly while in control of a vehicle and found to communicating at the time you can still be prosecuted for "failing to have proper control of the vehicle" the same penalties apply with a 3 point endorsement and £60 fine.
Bluetooth car kits do not stop you from driving poorly, they are only meant as an aid to keep better focus and concentration when driving and communicating on the phone. If you feel you are becoming engrossed in the conversation and find it difficult to concentrate on driving you are better off not using the bluetooth kit at all.
Can i use my mobile phone when i'm stopped?
Without the use of a bluetooth car kit, The only time you should use your phone in your vehicle is when you have safely parked your vehicle. You can not use use the mobile phone when stuck in traffic or at traffic lights.
Can I send a text message while driving?
Definitely not. Texting while driving is much more dangerous than phoning. Your concentration is totally absolved from driving and concentrating on the road. When you text people while driving you break eye contact from the road for long periods of driving.
Some modern bluetooth kits have a text to voice service (depending on phone compatibility) that reads incoming texts aloud and voice to text message technology is being developed by larger bluetooth car kit manufacturers such as Bury & Parrot.
Would i Be better leaving my mobile phone at home?
Its a matter of opinion, However the point of a mobile phone is to have it on your person. If you follow the rules and don't break any laws you can drive safely using a bluetooth car kit. The problems occur when you become pre-occupied with anything other than driving, however this can happen with any number of obstacles including changing a CD, radio station or chatting with friends in the vehicle.
The Benefits of carrying a mobile phone always out way not carrying one, if you done want to use it, turn it to answer phone.
Will the Bluetooth Car Kit make me to drive better?
Simple answer is NO. Nothing will make you to drive better than you natural capacity to do so. However the use of a car bluetooth kit will allow you to concentrate on driving, not trying to find, handle and function you phone as well as driving. The simple operation and functions mean you get the benefits of using your phone with minimum disturbance. You also never have to break eye contact with the road so you can see exactly what's happening in front of you enabling you to respond more urgently if required to do so.
It makes sense to to utilise the functions of a bluetooth car kit, it could help you prevent an accident or worse