Consensus HR

Your outsourced HR department.

Use of Mobile Phones whilst driving

Published in Employment Law, General, Handbook, Investigations

The use of handheld mobile phones while driving is illegal. It has been since 2003. From 1 March, the penalties for holding and using your phone while driving have increased. It’s now 6 points and £200.

It is not illegal to use hands free, but any time a driver’s attention is not on the road can be dangerous.

The facts

  • Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
  • Research shows:
    • You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone
    • Your reaction times are two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive, and this increases to three times if you use a handheld phone
  • Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

The law

  • It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
  • You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
  • If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
  • If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
  • Using hands free (e.g. for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, the police can still prosecute you.

For further advice on managing the use of your companies vehicles and ensuring your companies Policies & Procedures are kept up to date and within the law, contact us at Consensus HR on 01462 621 243 or alternatively use our internet ‘Contact Form’

Matthew from Consensus HR states “Employers need to ensure that the employees this applies to fully understand that failure to follow this area of the law could result in their dismissal from the company should it mean that they cannot fulfil the duties of their role or alternatively if they brought the company into disrepute”