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UK Drivers Could Be Hit With Fines And Points On License When Using Phone As Sat Nav

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UK Drivers Could Be Hit With Fines And Points On License When Using Phone As Sat Nav

While using your phone as a sat nav might seem intuitive, it turns out in some situations you could be fined if caught while doing it.

Since April 2021, new legislation ruled that using your mobile or any other handheld device for any reason while driving is strictly prohibited.

This is so that drivers are in full control of their vehicle at all times.

Those who are caught breaking this rule will receive up to six penalty points and a £200 fine. Or, if you passed your driving test in the last two years, you'll lose your license.

Keep in mind that this applies to holding your mobile phone, talking or texting on your phone, taking a photo or video while driving and playing games or using any app on your phone.

Credit: Pxhere/Public Domain
Credit: Pxhere/Public Domain

You'll even be punished for holding your phone to look for directions.

There's now no loophole to using your handheld device - even if your car is stationary at a red light or in traffic.

That doesn't mean you can't use a sat nav full stop. It's fine to do so if you're using a bluetooth headset, voice command, a dashboard holder or mat, a windscreen mount or a built-in satnav.

Furthermore, you're fine to use your phone or device if you're safely parked or you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it's unsafe or impractical to stop.

Speaking about the legislation last year, the then National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, said phones represented a real danger to drivers and pedestrians.

He said: "Using a mobile phone while driving is incredibly dangerous and being distracted at the wheel can change lives forever.

"Police will take robust action against those using a hand-held mobile phone illegally and proposals to make the law clearer are welcome."

Prior to the new ruling, law stated that it was illegal to use a device 'which performs an interactive communication' while driving - which enabled some motorists to escape punishment.

Credit: Pxhere/Public Domain
Credit: Pxhere/Public Domain

For example, in 2019, Ramsey Barreto was found guilty after he was caught using his mobile to film the scene of a crash in 2018, but he managed to get off after appealing the decision.

Cases such as this led High Court judges to criticise the law, arguing it wasn't fit for the modern day and that change was needed.

This sentiment was echoed by RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes, who told the BBC at the time: "We know that the use of hand-held mobile phones at the wheel continues to represent a very real road safety risk, so it's clear more needs to be done to make this as socially unacceptable as drink-driving."

Words: Daisy Phillipson

Featured Image Credit: Pxhere/Public Domain

Topics: phone, Driving, Car, UK

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