Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone


Believe it or not on average a motorist will manage to clock up around 300,000 miles in their time spent driving. They will drive around 26 cars and spend 100 days in traffic jams based on 60 years of driving. The latter one is rather depressing to think that 100 days of our lives as a motorist will be wasted stuck in a jam!

You may well be wondering why on earth these useless little facts are important however, motorists will speed 18,165 times and spend over a year listening to the radio or CD in their cars. They spend time kissing, arguing and making up with partners, texting and ringing people and even flirting with other motorists on the road!

Intack Self Drive as a vehicle hire company based in Blackburn are more than aware of the effects when a driver of one of our cars for hire, minibuses for hire or even vans for hire has become distracted. It can result in anything from a bump, to a scratch to a full on collision!

What happens if you are caught using a hand held mobile phone?

Since the 1st of December 2003 it has been illegal to drive in the UK whilst using a hand held mobile phone. Previously a motorist would only be charged if they failed to maintain control of their car whilst using a mobile but since the law there has been a number of changes.

At first the ban was largely ignored, £30 fixed penalty was given to anyone who was caught using their mobile and although 75000 penalty notices had been given out in 2004 alone the ban was still ignored. Then in February 2007 the penalty doubled to £60 which would be increased to £1000 penalty should the case be taken to court. However, in addition to this driving whilst using a hand held mobile became an endurable offence and the offender’s would receive three penalty points on their driving license.

Many people think that using hands free means they are in the clear; this is wrong. If you are stopped for poor driving and police find that you have been using a hands free kit you can still be prosecuted for not having proper control of your vehicle. The penalty for this remains the same, £60 penalty which could rise to £1000 should it be taken to court and then three points on your driving license.

The only time that there is an exemption is in a genuine emergency where you are calling 999 or 112 whilst driving. If your phone rings whilst you are driving you should leave it, find somewhere safe to pull over and then ring the person back. Even just answering your phone for thirty seconds to say “I am driving I will ring you back” is illegal.

One final item to bear in mind when the thought crosses your mind to answer your phone or send that text is in the unfortunate event that you do crash your insurance company may refuse to pay out to fix damage to your car. In addition you would lose your no claims bonus and increase your premiums which are already on the rise.

Think! Is that text really worth sending? Is that person who is ringing you that important that they cannot wait one minute whilst you pull over and park somewhere safe?

12th October 2011, 16:12