The new rules about driving whilst using a mobile phone.

On 25 March 2022 the law governing the use of mobile phones whilst driving in Great Britain will become stricter.

What are the key changes?
The new law, which will amend the Regulation 110 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986, will be tightened to make it an offence for a driver to hold and use a device, regardless of why they are holding it, and will cover any device which is capable of interactive communication even if the functionality is not enabled at the time, for instance when in flight mode. The definition of ‘using’ a device will be expanded to include:

  • Illuminating the screen
  • Checking the time
  • Checking notifications
  • Unlocking the device
  • Making, receiving or rejecting a telephone or internet based call
  • Sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content
  • sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video
  • utilising camera, video, or sound recording
  • drafting any text
  • accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages
  • accessing an app
  • accessing the internet

Are there any exemptions?
Drivers will be permitted to hold and use a device while driving to make a contactless payment at a payment terminal for goods or services. The vehicle would have to be stationary, and the item being paid for must be provided at the same time or after the contactless payment is made. Such a transaction might include paying for a car park or drive-through coffee using a phone.

The explanatory notes also say that using a mobile phone for navigation will continue to be legal, as long as it is kept in a cradle and not in the driver’s hand.

What is the penalty?
Unless it is to make an emergency call, anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and six points on their licence.

For further information please see the Road traffic offences and licensing FAQs document here CBP-8737.pdf (