Currently reading: UK government moves to tighten mobile phone driving laws
Government to close loophole that allows drivers to take photos as it seeks to make phone use fully illegal
News
2 mins read
17 October 2020

The government has launched a consultation to tighten laws around using handheld mobile phones while driving so that it will be illegal in all circumstances.

While it's a criminal offence to make handheld calls or send texts while driving, there's currently no law against using mobiles in other ways, for example to play games.

This is because these acts, which include scrolling through music playlists and even taking photos or videos, aren't viewed as ‘interactive communication’ - the current definition of the offence.

Roads minister Baroness Charlotte Vere, who today announced the plans, said: “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 the 21st century."

The president of the AA, Edmund King, said: “There's no excuse for picking up a mobile phone when driving, so we're pleased this loophole will be closed.

“Phones do so much more than calls and texts, so it's only right that the law is changed to keep pace with technology. Tweets, TikTok and Instagram snaps can all wait until you park up.

“If you can’t resist the temptation to pick up your phone, then you should convert your glovebox into a phonebox.”

While drivers will no longer be allowed to use handheld phones, hands-free phones and other devices haven't been banned, so drivers can continue to make calls on loudspeaker and use hands-free sat-navs.

The government expects the new proposals to be in place by early 2021.

READ MORE

Government to close mobile phone use 'loophole' 

Mobile phone use while driving still a big concern, says new report 

Phone use while driving should be banned entirely, say MPs

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si73 18 October 2020

So if your phone is mounted

So if your phone is mounted and you operate the touchscreen, how is this any different to operating touch screen controls in a modern car, I used to have my phone connected to my stereo, I could swipe the screen right to skip a music track or left to replay the current, this was done on a locked screen and if I needed to make a call I did so using voice controlled Bluetooth.
As others have said phones should only work with Bluetooth in a car and social media functions should be automatically disabled.
jameshobiecat 18 October 2020

If banning the use of phones

If banning the use of phones for non communications purposes could the government please also ban fiddly touch screen infotainment systems please?that way we can go back to having physical buttons and knobs that are far easier to use in motion and don't look terribly out of date after 5 years.
MarkII 17 October 2020

Proper Enforcement

All the laws in the world are pointless without enforcement and we simply don't have enough traffic Police to enforce these laws effectively.

As usual, law breakers will continue to flout the law with impunity, safe in the knowledge that the chance of them actually being caught is fairly low.

These are the same irresponsible scumbags who are likely to drink'n'drive, or be off their heads on weed because they don't give a flying @#&+ about the law or whatever kind of havoc they might wreak on innocent victims.

We need more patrols, proper enforcement and judges that pass down proper sentences - until then laws are just words on a page.

PS: I sort of agree with Peter, in this day and age it should be possible for phone & car manufacturers to work together to electronically prevent calls being made or received within a vehicle, unless connected hands free, through the car's Bluetooth.

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