Gary Schooler, Criminal Partner at FDR Law discussing motor offences
Q: I was stopped by the police for using a phone whilst stopped in traffic, is that right?
A: Yes if you were using a hand-held device. It is illegal to do so when you are the driver of a vehicle or riding a motorbike and that even includes if you were stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
The government guidelines are very clear in that a driver must not use a hand-held mobile phone or similar device, for example a sat nav or car radio whilst driving as it is considered a distraction. This rule also applies if you are not driving personally but are supervising a learner driver or rider.
The only exceptions to this rule are if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical for you to do so or when you are safely parked.
If you are stopped by the police due to using a mobile device, then the current penalty is 3 points on your driving licence and a fine of £100. However from 1st March 2017 these will increase to 6 penalty points and a fine of £200, even if it is your first offence.
In more serious cases, the police may choose to prosecute a driver for careless or dangerous driving and drivers may be asked to provide a breath test.
For legal advice and assistance relating to a motoring offence, contact Gary Schooler on 01925 230000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org