Using a mobile phone whilst driving

The Offence

using a hand-held phone whilst driving

Likely Punishment

£60 and 3 points

Defences

show that the phone was used for a genuine emergency

Guide to Mobile Phone Use While Driving

The Offence

It is an offence to use a hand-held phone whilst driving.  It is also an offence to use a hands-free device where you are not in proper control of your vehicle as a result.

Do I need an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) for using a mobile phone while driving?

No, there is no requirement for an NIP for using a mobile phone while driving.

Alternative Charge

From 6 September 2007 the Police/CPS consider whether use of your phone (or MP3 player or satellite navigation system) was dangerous or careless.  You may find yourself being prosecuted for either of these offences, with dangerous driving being the starting point, and if you caused a fatality there is a real risk that a manslaughter charge could be on the cards. This is a hot-topic for the politicians with the press at their heels.

Punishment

Up until 27 February 2007 this was a fine of £30.  From that date the punishment increased to £60 and 3 points. 

Defences

These are limited to using the phone for a genuine emergency if it is hand-held.  For hands-free offences a challenge can be brought as to whether you were still in control, but if you had an accident this will be an uphill battle. 

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