Mobile phone loophole closes today that could land you six points and £1,000 fine

Specific contactless payments and calling 999 when you can’t safely stop will still be allowed (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

From today you can no longer legally scroll through Spotify or take pictures with your phone while driving.

A loophole has finally been closed meaning that making hand-held calls and texting are not the only functions that have been banned.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government was taking a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach with the new rules.

The only times you can use your phone while at the wheel is when making contactless payments when stationary for things like the M6 ​​toll or at a drive-thru, or when making a 999 call if it’s not safe to pull over.

The punishment for flouting the rules is a fine of up to £ 1,000 and six points on your license.

Department for Transport figures show 17 people were killed and a further 114 were seriously injured in crashes on Britain’s roads in which a driver using a mobile was a contributory factor.

They can also use their device as a sat-nav if it is secured in a cradle.

Mr Shapps said: ‘I will do everything in my power to keep road users safe, which is why I am taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who decide to risk lives by using their phone behind the wheel.

‘I’m ensuring anyone who chooses to break this vital law can face punishment for doing so, and we’ll continue our efforts to ensure our roads remain among the safest in the world.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

hand touching on phone mobile white screen in car;  Shutterstock ID 547284490;  purchase_order: -;  job: -;  client: -;  other: -

Using your phone in a cradle for sat nav will still be allowed (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

AA president Edmund King said: ‘This is a much-needed toughening of the rules to help make our roads safer.

‘The best thing to do is to convert your glovebox into a phone box. We all need to keep our hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road. ‘

An £ 800,000 Think! awareness campaign will run until the end of April.

An RAC survey of 2,000 UK drivers conducted last week indicated that 43% of motorists are not aware of the changes being introduced, and 45% believe they will not be effective.

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis: ‘The dial really needs to be turned up when it comes to enforcement, and that means police forces having the resources and technology they need to more easily catch those drivers that continue to flout the law.

‘Cameras that can automatically detect handheld phone use exist and are in use in other countries, so we think it’s high time the UK Government evaluated this technology with a view to allowing police forces to deploy it at the earliest opportunity.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.