6 November 2003

From 1 December it will be a criminal offence to use a hand-held mobile phone at any time while driving.

Drivers caught using a mobile face a £30 fine. However, the law will be tightened ‘at a later date’ so that offenders are given three points and a £60 fixed penalty.

To begin with, hands-free devices will be allowed and drivers will not be prosecuted for using portable or installed car kits, unless use of a phone affects their driving or leads to a crash.

However, a new survey warns that 40 per cent of motorists don’t know about the new rules. ‘The Government and mobile industry should tell drivers exactly what is and isn’t legal,’ said Nigel Humphries of the Association of British Drivers.

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