Mobile Phone Driving Offences
Despite constant publicity, hundreds of thousands of drivers still risk their licences by using a mobile phone, sat nav or similar hand-held device while driving. Others do not realise that it is illegal to use these devices even if your vehicle is stationary. If you are caught you may be fined and given penalty points or even find yourself disqualified from driving.
At IBB we have solicitors who specialise in road traffic law and advise individuals and employers facing charges relating to mobile phone use. Our goal is to help you understand the charges, advance any defence and support you if you go to court.
The law on mobile phone use whilst driving
The law applies to mobile phones or devices which must be held, at some point, to communicate. It includes making or receiving calls and sending or checking text messages and emails.
Police can prosecute drivers for three offences –
- Use by the driver
- Causing or permitting use by the driver;
- Supervising a provisional licence holder whilst using a mobile phone or hand held device.
It is an offence to use a hand held phone or device, regardless of whether or not you appear to be in control of the vehicle.
What are the penalties for driving whilst using a mobile phone?
There are fixed penalties for committing these offences (penalty points and fines) which can be issued by the police. However if you go to court the punishment can be as high as:
- A fine of up to £1,000 for smaller vehicles;
- A fine of up to £2,500 if the driver is operating a goods vehicle adapted to carry more than eight passengers;
- Obligatory endorsement of six penalty points; and
- Discretionary disqualification.
What defences are available?
The only defence is if you can prove the following:
- The call is to an emergency service using either 999 or 112; and
- The caller is acting in response to a genuine emergency; and
- That it is unsafe or impractical to stop driving.
Contact our driving and mobile offence solicitors
It is advisable to seek legal advice if you are facing charges relating to mobile phone use. You should remember that the purpose of the legislation is to ensure road safety. Using a mobile phone whilst driving decreases your awareness and response time and it is possible that you could also be charged with other, more serious offences such as careless driving or dangerous driving. Penalties for these offences, especially if an accident occurs, can be far higher.
Call us on 0330 999 4999 if you are charged with a mobile phone offence or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.