Fact: using a mobile phone whilst driving could slow your reaction time by 50%. It will also make you four times more likely to crash.
It’s a criminal offence to drive while using a mobile for talking or texting
You can get an automatic fixed penalty notice if you’re caught using a hand-held phone while driving. You’ll get 3 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100.
Be careful, because the rules are the same even if you’re stopped at traffic lights, in queuing traffic, or in a car park. (All these situations are covered by the legal definition of “driving on the road”.)
It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
If you’re the driver, the only time you can legally use a hand-held mobile phone in the car is if you:
- Need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
- Are safely parked.
The safest way to use your phone in the car
It is not an offence to use a hands-free phone when driving, but the police will still be able to stop and penalise you if they believe you’re distracted and not in full control of your car.
- Don’t make or answer calls when driving. Let it go to voicemail, even if you have a hands-free mobile.
- If you have to talk, keep the call short or find a safe place to stop and phone back.
Calling another mobile
If you make a call to someone who tells you they are driving – remember even a careful driver may be sidetracked by a call – a lapse in concentration could result in a crash – suggest you speak when they are safely parked.