Government to close mobile phone loophole

*

The Government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole which has allowed drivers to escape prosecution for hand-held mobile phone use while driving.

At present, the law prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text.  However, people caught filming or taking photos while driving have escaped punishment as lawyers have successfully argued that this activity does not fit into the ‘interactive communication’ that is currently outlawed by the legislation.

The revised legislation will mean that any driver caught texting, taking photos, browsing the internet or scrolling through a playlist while behind the wheel will be prosecuted for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he would urgently take forward a review to tighten up the existing law, with proposals expected to be in place by spring next year.

“We recognise that staying in touch with the world while travelling is an essential part of modern day life but we are also committed to making our roads safe,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.  “Drivers who use a hand-held mobile phone are hindering their ability to spot hazards and react in time – putting people’s lives at risk.”

While ministers have also announced that they will consider the current penalties in place for hand-held mobile phone use, there are no plans at the moment to ban hands-free phone use.