Drivers to be banned from using mobile phones, even scrolling through playlists

UK drivers, including those in Sheffield, risk being penalised following the Government’s plan to toughen laws on using a handheld device while driving.

Sunday, 21st November 2021, 11:58 pm

From 2022, motorists will be prohibited from taking photos or videos, scrolling through playlists, or playing games on their phones, as part of the Government's crackdown on road safety.

Other than in an emergency, it is already illegal to text or make a phone call while driving using a mobile phone.

The Highway Code will also be updated to make it clear that using handheld mobile devices at traffic lights or while stuck in traffic is prohibited.

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Police will soon be able to more easily prosecute drivers using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel after the government strengthens existing laws to further improve road safety.

Announcing the move, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Too many deaths and injuries occur whilst 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.”

The decision came following public consultation, which found 81 per cent of respondents said they supported suggestions to enhance the law.

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What are the rules?

Anyone caught driving while using a handheld device will risk a £200 fixed penalty and six points on their licence.

Drivers may continue to use satellite navigation equipment such as satnavs and mobile phones as long as they are placed in a cradle.

However, motorists must accept responsibility for their driving and may face prosecution if they are found to be driving their car negligently.

Police will also be able to more easily prosecute drivers using a handheld device at the wheel.

Are there any exemptions?

The Highway Code will be revised to explain the new measures.

It will also be more precise about the fact that being stationary in traffic counts as driving, making it clear that hand-held mobile phone use at traffic lights or in motorway jams is illegal except in very limited circumstances.

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.

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.