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Are the laws on using a mobile phone whilst driving changing?

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Following a successful appeal against a conviction of using a mobile phone whilst driving the law around driving and mobile phones has been criticised by two High Court Judges.

At the hearing the High Court judges agreed that mobile phone laws from 2003 had failed to evolve with the rise of smartphones.

Recently a male was found guilty of using his phone to film a crash in north London two years ago. This conviction was then successfully appealed, with his lawyers arguing "he wasn't using it to communicate".

Phones behind the wheel: What is the law

  • Using a hand-held mobile phone or sat nav while driving is illegal
  • Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you drive
  • Police still have the power to stop you if they think you have been distracted
  • The law still applies if you're stationery or queueing at lights
  • You could receive  penalty points, a fine and/or a driving ban if you break the law

Since 2017 the penalties have increased, and anyone caught using a mobile phone whilst driving will now receive 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. This means that new drivers who receive the 6 points within the first two years of passing their test will have their license revoked.

How can we help?

At Emery Johnson Astills we have a criminal team who regularly deal with a variety of driving offences. Our specialist advocates in the Criminal Defence Team are highly experienced in dealing with driving offences at both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court.

If you find yourself facing any driving offence it is vital to contact a solicitor as soon as possible to obtain expert legal advice. Representation at the police station is free, and legal aid may be available for your case at the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. For offences which do not qualify for legal aid, we offer fixed fees for appointments and representation.

To discuss any driving offences please contact our Criminal Defence Team at Emery Johnson Astills at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312.