Motorists who pick up phones while driving face hefty fines under new law

Changes to motoring laws will soon mean that anyone who is driving won't be allowed to pick up their phone at all while the vehicle is in motion.

This move will clamp down on those who are using their phones to take pictures or film while driving, which is currently still technically allowed through a legal loophole.

The new legislation is expected to be enacted early next year, and hopes to reduce motoring accidents as a result of drivers recklessly using their mobile phones in the car.

The Department for Transport has added that mobiles can still be used to pay for your goods in a drive-through takeaway, and hands-free devices will also be permitted.

The law currently states that making calls and texting is currently banned while driving.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said handheld phone use behind the wheel was "distracting and dangerous" and that "for too long risky drivers have been able to escape punishment".

The new legal introduction would apply to all of Britain and is expected to come into effect at the start of 2021, depending on the outcome of the consultation, which is coming up soon.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: "The closing of this loophole is very welcome and reflects the multitude of ways drivers can use hand-held phones when behind the wheel in 2020.

"We know that the use of hand-held mobile phones at the wheel continues to represent a very real road safety risk, so it's clear more needs to be done to make this as socially unacceptable as drink-driving."

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National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, stated: "Using a mobile phone while driving is incredibly dangerous and being distracted at the wheel can change lives forever.

"Police will take robust action against those using a hand-held mobile phone illegally and proposals to make the law clearer are welcome."

Anyone caught breaking the rules will then be subjected to six penalty points and a £200 fine.

The change in legislation comes following a huge increase in road deaths where a mobile was a contributory factor.

Back in 2019, 637 road casualties occurred in the UK.

Eighteen died and 135 were seriously injured in crashes where a driver was using a mobile.

Filming or taking pictures when driving doesn't match the current wording in motoring laws that currently only states that it's illegal to use a device "which performs an interactive communication".

Nicholas Lyes, the RAC head of roads said: "The closing of this loophole is very welcome and reflects the multitude of ways drivers can use hand-held phones when behind the wheel in 2020.

"We know that the use of hand-held mobile phones at the wheel continues to represent a very real road safety risk, so it's clear more needs to be done to make this as socially unacceptable as drink-driving."

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