By Tara Rippin • 17 October 2020 • 9:37
New DGT traffic regulations come into force on Thursday, September 30.
Government to close legal loophole in mobile phone use while driving.
PEOPLE using a hand-held mobile phone in all circumstances while driving will be breaking the law, under new government plans unveiled by Roads Minister Baroness Vere today, October 17, to close a legislation loophole and improve road safety.
It’s already a criminal offence to use a hand-held mobile phone to call or text while driving, but not for other actions such as taking photos.
While still distracting, drivers have escaped punishment due to a legal loophole where such actions aren’t seen as ‘interactive communication’, and therefore do not fit the current definition of the offence.
Now, following a review of the offence, a consultation has been launched on bringing the law into line with modern technology – meaning drivers caught taking photos, playing games or scrolling through a playlist behind the wheel will be clearly breaking the law on mobile phone use.
Recognising that mobile phones are commonly used as a method of payment – such as at drive-thrus – an exemption will apply under the new proposals set out by government today to contactless payments, if a vehicle is stationary, and if goods or services – such as a takeaway meal – are delivered immediately.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “Our roads are some of the safest in the world, but we want to make sure they’re safer still by bringing the law into the 21st century.
“That’s why we’re looking to strengthen the law to make using a hand-held phone while driving illegal in a wider range of circumstances – it’s distracting and dangerous and for too long risky drivers have been able to escape punishment but this update will mean those doing the wrong thing will face the full force of the law.”
Ministers have rejected calls to go further by banning the use of hands-free functions – drivers will still be able to continue safely using devices ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav secured in a cradle.
A project, commissioned by the Department for Transport and carried out by the University of Leeds, looked at footage of 51 drivers and found over 765 trips, 662 mobile phone interactions were observed with only 38 completely hands-free.
The penalties in place for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving are 6 penalty points and a £200 fine.
Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “Government to close legal loophole in mobile phone use while driving”. For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.
Euro Weekly News is delighted to continue be able to bring you a range of News from around Spain in English and Global News live as it happens.
Euro Weekly News doesn’t cost you anything but your internet connection. Whether it’s bringing you the local Spanish news or the International news today, we’ve got you covered!
Euro Weekly News, the leading free local and national newspaper in Spain, the people’s paper, we lead others follow!
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
Share your story with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.