Drivers to be fined £200 for just touching a mobile phone while driving

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March 25 sees a rule brought in on UK roads that will see drivers fined a hefty £200 for touching a mobile while at the wheel, regardless of the reason. That includes changing a song or checking a notification.

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call using a hand-held device while driving, except for in an emergency.

But now tougher new legislation will close a loophole that many motorists are exploiting, reported the Mirror.

The law applies to anyone in control of a motor vehicle and includes while sitting in stationary traffic or at traffic lights.

Anyone handling a mobile device at the wheel will now be fined £200 and given six points on their licence.

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“It continued: “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.”

Motorists will also still be allowed to use a device if it is ‘hands-free’ when driving.

That includes making hands-free calls and the use of a phone as a sat-nav, as long as it is kept in a holder.

Keith Hawes, director of Nationwide Vehicle Contract, said: “The changes to mobile phone driving laws are vital to improving the safety of Britain’s roads.

“Drivers must take these rules seriously to help reduce the number of tragic deaths caused by violations.

“It is not just mobile devices that drivers should be cautious of.

“Despite no new rules being enforced on the use of internal infotainment systems, they can be a potential distraction for drivers.

He added: “Touchscreens have become a common addition to modern vehicles, and the more complex they become, the more distracting they can be.

“If you are found to be not properly in control of your vehicle as a result of using dashboard gadgets or hands-free devices you could still be prosecuted.“

Anyone caught using a phone within two years of passing their test will also lose their licence completely, according to Government guidelines.

And the maximum fine for the offence could be £1,000 and a driving ban if the matter goes to court.



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