New fines imposed for using mobile phone at the wheel

mobile phone fines

It is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving a car – and this has been widely publicised. This doesn’t just apply to when the vehicle is moving, but also applies to when the car is stationary at traffic lights or waiting in a queue of traffic. The law is very clear, mobile phone and cars have no place together.

The only way mobile phones can be used in cars on the correct side of the law is if they are being used as a sat nav (from a safely mounted position) or if you’re using a hand-free option (earphones or Bluetooth, for example.)

If you’re caught using your phone, the penalties are getting steeper

This year we have seen that the fines for drivers who are caught using their mobile phone at the wheel are increasing. From February this year, fines were increased from £100 to £200 and these would accompany 6 points on your driving license.

Previously, if you were a first-time offender, you’d be offered the chance to do a corrective training course – this has now been scrapped so there is no leniency for first timers.

This is the latest in a swift history of increases for this offence, which is likely to be because of an a persistence in levels of offenders, and an increase in the things that motorists are attempting to do with their phones while their concentration should be fully focussed on the road.

History of fines for using mobile phones while driving

Since fines were first introduced, law enforcement has struggled to get the level of deterrent to work effectively – frustratingly there has been no decreased in the number of offenders, which is one of the reasons this latest increase has been brought in.

  • 2003 Mobile phone fines first introduced at £30
  • 2007 Fine increased to £60
  • 2013 Increased again to £100
  • 2017 Doubled to £200 plus 6 points

Don’t let the fine or the points be the only factor you consider here – it is the safety of yourself, other road users and pedestrians that are most important. There are very few things that are so urgent that they warrant putting yourself or others at risk. Be patient, keep your phone out of reach while you’re driving and don’t be tempted to divert your attention from the road. If you really have to check your phone while you’re in the car, pull over to a safe parking place, turn off the engine, and the phone is your oyster.

Here at Motoring Defence, our team is experienced in defending cases of using mobile phones while driving; call 0800 612 4859 for free advice on how best to proceed.