Mobile telephones are more popular now than ever before and our reliance upon technology in day to day life has never been stronger.
With the increase of mobile telephone has been an increase in offences and using a mobile telephone whilst driving attracts 6 points on your licence in addition to a fine. This can apply to other technology as well such as satellite navigation systems.
Any driver can be charged with this offence if they are caught using their mobile telephone whilst in their vehicle even if they are in stationary traffic. A passenger can also be charged if they were using their telephone whilst supervising a learner. Employers may also find themselves facing prosecution if they require their employees to use or answer their phones whilst driving so the stance the law takes is quite strict and rigid.
Many motorists assume that if they are in a queue of traffic they can text whilst they wait but this is simply not the case. The same can be said for those who think that using their phone is acceptable so long as their driving doesn’t suffer as a result. Motorists will be charged if the officer thinks that the mobile device is causing a significant distraction and diverting your attention away from the road.
It is also possible for motorists who use their mobile telephones whilst driving to face allegations of careless or dangerous driving depending on the standard of driving and newer offences have been introduced that incorporate the element of a mobile phone such as “causing death by driving whilst using a mobile telephone”.
In most cases the evidence against you will come from a police officer’s account of what he witnessed. It is of course possible to challenge this at trial as it can come down to a case of it being your word against theirs and the strength of the evidence can be tested via cross examination.
Due to the legislation and the seriousness with which Magistrates usually treat these offences (often a zero tolerance approach), the main route of defence is if we are able to convince the court that you were not actually using the device.
With supporting evidence such as telephone records and testimony from the driver, we have been able to convince the court previously that an offence has not been committed however even if the phone was not in use it can be difficult to challenge successfully due to the approach the court’s take.
In most cases, the adopted position is: Unless your vehicle is safely parked you should not be using your mobile telephone.
Important: This offence attracts penalty points. If further points on your licence mean that the total number of points is 12 or more than please also review our totting up page as you may be facing a disqualification of 6 months.