Using a Mobile Whilst Driving
We are specialist motoring offence solicitors based in Sheffield and serving the whole of England. We can help you mount a defence or mitigation against a prosecution for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Phone us on 0114 256 0111 now for a FREE Initial Consultation.
New more severe mobile phone penalties announced
6 points and £200 fine for using a mobile phone whilst driving
The government introduced stricter penalties for those caught using a mobile phone whilst driving in Spring 2017.
Texting, making phone calls without a hands free kit or checking social media accounts will incur a £200 fine and six driving licence penalty points. Drivers who have recently passed their test face having their licence revoked and being forced to retake their test.
The rules came into force in the first half of 2017 in England, Scotland and Wales, and could see fines of up to £1,000 with a six-month driving ban for drivers who are caught twice for the offence.
What are the defences for a ticket for using a mobile whilst driving?
- I wasn’t making a call or texting but I’ve got a ticket for using my mobile whilst driving
- There is inconsistency in the interpretation of what ‘using’ a mobile means. From the narrow definition of making or receiving a call, text or voice mail, to the wider uses such as accessing the internet, or sending pictures. There is growing pressure to crack down on the use of mobiles and other distracting devices whilst driving so we may see the widest interpretation of ‘using’ being adopted more often and by more forces. The safest option may be to simply never use your mobile whilst in your car on any public road.
- Because a prosecution may rest upon an interpretation of ‘using’ it is very important you get qualified advice to help you challenge your summons.
- I was stationery but still got a ticket for using my mobile
- You can be prosecuted for using a mobile device even if your vehicle was stationery, for example whilst waiting at lights or in a queue. If the police consider that your use was affecting the manner of your driving, or your ability to drive safely they may issue a ticket.
- I had to use my mobile whilst driving to make an emergency call
- This is a possible defence if it the call was essential and it was impractical or unsafe to stop.
- They can’t prove I was using my mobile phone whilst driving
- Many people feel they have been falsely accused of using a mobile phone whilst driving.
- It can be hard for the police to prove you were actually using your phone. A police officer may be mistaken in what they saw. It may be possible to challenge their account in court. We have the expertise to assess if this is possible.
- It’s essential that your contact your phone provider as soon as possible to get a copy of the records of all your incoming and outgoing calls and texts. This is not always provided in your bill.
What are the penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving?
- Awareness courses
- As the number of prosecutions is rapidly increasing police forces are starting to offer awareness courses, like the speeding awareness course, as an alternative to endorsement.
- Fine and points
- Currently the offence carries a standard 3 penalty point endorsement and a fine of up to £1,000 but the specific nature of the offence may carry much higher penalties.
- Custodial sentences
- A prosecution for using a mobile whilst driving may include extend to dangerous driving. This is a very serious offence and carries a custodial sentence. There is growing pressure to crack down on the use of mobiles and other devices whilst driving and there is some indication that the Crown Prosecution Service is starting to use dangerous driving as the starting point for prosecutions.
- Passenger vehicle drivers
- Drivers of vehicles that carry over 8 people may be fined up to £2,500
- Employers can be prosecuted for allowing or expecting their employees to use a mobile phone whilst driving.
- Insurance companies are joining in the crackdown on using a mobile phone whilst driving and if you are prosecuted the increase in your premium can be even more that your fine.