DRIVING while using a phone has long been illegal but you can be fined £200 for even touching your phone while behind the wheel.
Along with the fine you will receive penalty points, so no more quickly picking your next song while driving.
Can I use a mobile phone while driving?
It's been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving since 2003, but rules have been toughened up since.
You can't use your phone in your car, including reading a text, checking social media or taking a photo.
From March 25, 2022, any form of touching your phone will be illegal and result in a penalty.
The law applies even if you are stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic as your engine is still running.
You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to stop.
Drivers can also use their mobiles for contactless payments if a vehicle is stationary at a drive-thru takeaway.
Can I use hands-free while driving?
You can use hands-free phones – as long as you don't press any buttons – sat navs and two-way radios when you’re driving or riding.
The in-car touchscreen dashboard is not exempt from penalties as the director of Nationwide Vehicle Contract Keith Hawes has warned about using these too.
Keith said: “Touchscreens have become a common addition to modern vehicles, and the more complex they become, the more distracting they can be.
"If you are found to be not properly in control of your vehicle as a result of using dashboard gadgets or hands-free devices you could still be prosecuted.“
But if the police think you’re distracted and not in control of your vehicle you could still get stopped and penalised. The law also applies to those riding a motorcycle.
Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you start your ride.
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Can I be fined for using my phone while driving?
Yes, you could be fined if you use your phone or any touchscreen device while driving.
Drivers could be hit with a £200 charge, but there's a chance you could be taken to court and fined a maximum of £1,000.
You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last two years.
Can I get points added to my licence?
Previously, drivers caught on their phones received three penalty points.
But government legislation doubled the amount to six points.
As new drivers only start with six points for their first two years on the road, a conviction will mean your licence being revoked – meaning you have to retake both your theory and practical test.
Previously, motorists in some police force areas could avoid points by taking a remedial driving course.
But ministers believed it wasn't tough enough so now those caught using a mobile phone for the first time automatically receive six penalty points.
What's the roadside detection system?
The scanning system was trialled in Norwich in 2018 to automatically track detect drivers who are using phones.
It worked by sensing if a phone is in use in a car — and a symbol of a mobile with a line through it then flashed up on a sign as cars pass.
The equipment didn't record plates or issue fines but data was be shared with police.
It was also unable to tell whether a driver or passenger is using a handset.
It was trialled in Norfolk but was not expanded to the rest of the UK.
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