Drivers To Be Fined £200 And Get Six Points For Touching Their Phone
Drivers could soon be banned for using a mobile phone at the wheel under new laws.
The government announced today (1st November) it will be closing a legal loophole which bans drivers from making calls or sending texts or emails, but allows them to use their phone for other things while driving.
The Department for Transport said it would be reviewing current legislation - last updated in 2003 - to reflect the modern functions of smartphones.
Touching your phone under any circumstances will be banned and drivers will be given a £200 fine and six points on their license under the new plans.
This comes after a driver overturned a conviction for using a mobile phone to film while at the wheel. Builder Ramsey Barreto successfully argued his conviction for filming a car crash on his phone by arguing the law only prohibited "interactive communication".
The law follows increasing amounts of people filming themselves while driving. The Telegraph report over 30,000 photos had been posted on Instagram with the hashtag #DrivingSelfie.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, said: "Drivers who use a hand-held mobile phone are hindering their ability to spot hazards and react in time - putting people's lives at risk.
"We welcome the Transport Select Committee's report, and share their drive to make our roads even safer which is why this review will look to tighten up the existing law to bring it into the 21st century, preventing reckless driving and reduce accidents on our roads."
The government rejected the committees call to look at extending the band to handsfree devices including incarnation screens like sat-navs.
MP Lilian Greenwood, chair of the Transport Select Committee, said: "Our evidence showed that the risk from hands-free devices is just as real. While we're pleased that ministers will prioritise work on handheld mobiles, this issue still needs to be addressed.
"We'd like the Department to keep us informed of their work to examine the risks of hands-free use and the wider context of education and enforcement."
Featured Image Credit: PA