More stringent rules affecting drivers interacting with mobile phones are to come into effect next week and rulebreakers could be fined £200 if caught. You could be slapped with this fine just for touching your mobile device.
The legislation will come into force March 25 and will punish any driver that touches their phone, whether it is to check the time, shuffle through a playlist or access an app. The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says that this legislation will help to prevent road deaths by making it easier to prosecute offenders.
The Department of Transport said in a statement: “There will be an exemption to the new law for drivers making a contactless payment using their mobile phone while stationary to ensure the law keeps pace with technology.
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“This exemption will cover, for example, places like a drive-through restaurant or a road toll, and will only apply when payment is being made with a card reader. It will not allow motorists to make general online payments while driving.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held. By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users.
“While our roads remain among the safest in the world, we will continue working tirelessly to make them safer, including through our award-winning THINK! campaign, which challenges social norms among high-risk drivers.”
Mary Williams, chief executive of Brake – the road safety charity, said: “Driver distraction can be deadly and using a hand-held phone at the wheel is never worth the risk. This important road safety decision by government, coinciding with Road Safety Week , is very welcomed.
“This news is particularly welcomed by families suffering bereavement and catastrophic injury due to drivers being distracted by phones. The theme for Road Safety Week is road safety heroes – we can all be road safety heroes by giving driving our full attention.”