Mobile phone offences are a hot topic at the moment and police
are clamping down on drivers using their phones.
There are three offences:
1. Using the hand-held device while driving
2. Causing or permitting another to drive while using a
3. Supervising a provisional licence holder while the supervisor
is using a hand held device
The device is one, other than a two way radio, which performs an
interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving
Is it lawful to use a mobile phone with a hands free kit and
still have a conversation while driving?
The Regulations define a hand held device as follows:
"a mobile phone or other device is to be treated as
hand-held if it is or must be held at some point during the course
of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive
An offence would be committed by:
Using the phone and holding it in the hand when driving.
At some point during the course of receiving or making a call
or sending a text etc, the driver holds the phone in his hand, even
Holding the phone to answer an incoming call even if
immediately after holding the phone to answer it, he puts it down
and uses the hands-free kit.
An offence would not be committed by:
A call being made or answered by pressing a button on an
earpiece or the phone keypad, when the phone is mounted on a
dashboard holder, because the phone is not being held at any time
If the phone is being used for an emergency to call the
emergency services on 112 or 999 in response to a genuine emergency
and it is unsafe or impracticable to stop driving to make that
The penalty will be £2,500 fine, discretionary
disqualification and three points obligatory endorsement and so not
to be treated lightly.
It is essential for the Crown to have evidence that the phone is
being or has been held by the driver. We have successfully helped
clients avoid penalty points for a large range of Road Traffic
Offences by scrutinising the evidence and mounting a robust defence
to the charge.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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