Holding any mobile device while driving made illegal in tough new law

Nick Knowles pledges to ‘change behaviour’ after driving ban

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But soon, anyone caught using a device on the road for recreational purposes will be fined £200 and handed a six-point penalty on their licence. Drivers’ phones must also be secured in a cradle on the dashboard or windscreen, to ensure that use of phones – for sat-nav or other purposes – remains hands-free. Ministers said the law will be expanded next year to cover motorists who allow themselves to be distracted by their devices.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Too many deaths and injuries occur whilst mobile phones are being held.

“By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users.

“While our roads remain among the safest in the world, we will continue working tirelessly to make them safer, including through our award-winning THINK! campaign, which challenges social norms among high-risk drivers.”

Once the law is expanded, holding a phone will only be permitted when drivers make contactless payments via a card reader at drive-throughs or when paying road tolls.

But the exemption will not allow motorists to make general online payments while driving.

Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: “Driver distraction can be deadly and using a hand-held phone at the wheel is never worth the risk.

“This important road safety decision by Government, coinciding with Road Safety Week, is particularly welcomed by families suffering bereavement and catastrophic injury due to drivers being distracted by phones.

“The theme for Road Safety Week is road-safety heroes – and we can all be road-safety heroes by giving driving our full attention.”

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