Experts in Motoring and Road Traffic Law
Using Mobile Phone While Driving Solicitors
Unless you have hands-free access, it is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving a vehicle. If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving, you may face severe penalties. Our road traffic defence solicitors can advise and represent you if you wish to defend a charge of using a mobile phone while driving.
At MPR Solicitors, we practice almost exclusively in criminal and road traffic law. Our lawyers have a wealth of specialist experience in UK motoring law and can act quickly to establish a defence. By instructing us, you can be confident of receiving specialist advice and robust representation.
To contact our solicitors who can defend you if have been charged with using a mobile phone while driving, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our London office.
Our team provides exceptional client care and quality legal guidance to all clients we act for. We have a dedicated team of motoring solicitors based in London, but we advise and represent clients from all over the UK.
Why is using your mobile phone while driving illegal?
There is solid international research which shows using mobile phones while driving can distract the driver and increase the risk of an accident. A paper published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents references several studies, dating back to 1969, which show divided attention significantly affects drivers’ ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Using a mobile phone while driving has been shown to impair:
- Maintenance of lane position
- Maintenance of appropriate and predictable speed
- Maintenance of appropriate following distances from vehicles in front
- Reaction times
- Judgement and acceptance of safe gaps in traffic
- General awareness of other traffic
What are the penalties if you are caught using a mobile phone while driving?
On 1st March 2017, the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving increased.
If caught using a mobile phone while driving a car or motorbike, you may be fined £200 and receive six penalty points.
Being caught for a second time using a mobile phone while driving can result in having to appear before a Magistrates Court and a fine of up to £1,000 and a six-month driving ban.
Newly qualified drivers who gained their licence in the past two years may lose their licence if caught.
The harsh penalty is deliberately designed to deter drivers using a mobile phone while driving. However, if you already have several penalty points on your licence, a further six could result in you losing your licence.
What happens if I am caught using a mobile phone while driving an HGV?
Being caught using a mobile phone while driving an HGV carries serious consequences. Drivers may face fines of up to £2,500 and a driving ban. In addition, LGV and PCV drivers who are caught using their mobile devices behind the wheel risk a professional conduct hearing before a Traffic Commissioner after their conviction.
We understand the financial and professional consequences professional drivers face when accused of driving while using a mobile phone. We can advise and represent you in court and at a Traffic Commissioners hearing. If a defence is not available, we can put forward strong, well-prepared statements to mitigate the sentence.
Can I use a hands-free device?
It is lawful to use a mobile phone while driving via a hands-free device. This could include:
- a Bluetooth headset
- Voice command
- A dashboard holder
However, if you have an accident or the police stop you on the grounds you are driving carelessly, and it can be proven you were using a hands-free mobile phone at the time, you may still be prosecuted for not being in control of your vehicle.
Can I use my mobile phone if I am parked on the side of the road?
If you are safely and legally parked on the side of the road, you may use your mobile phone in the car. However, it is an offence to use a mobile phone when stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, or supervising a learner driver.
There is an exemption from prosecution if you have to make an emergency 999 or 112 call while driving and it is not safe to stop (for example, you are on a motorway).
What defences are available if I am caught using a mobile phone while driving?
At MPR Solicitors, we can provide an initial consultation to ascertain whether you would have a defence available for being caught driving using a mobile phone. If you do not have a defence, we can represent you in court if you plead guilty. We can also write a statement of mitigation and present it to the court. This may lead to the court handing down a more lenient sentence.
If you do have a defence available, we will work swiftly to contact and collect statements from any witnesses who can corroborate your story. If necessary, we can use your phone records to show details of your call history if you are arguing you were not using your phone at the time the police say you were.
A defence may be available if you can prove you were not driving at the time the alleged offence was committed. We will examine all the facts of your case, develop a strong argument and present it to the court. Our solicitors have a wealth of experience in appearing before the court to defend all types of traffic offences. By instructing us, you can have peace of mind you are being represented by an expert Motoring Law team.
If you have been accused of driving while using a mobile phone, please call our traffic offence solicitors immediately on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.