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The new Mobile Phone Regulations 2022

View profile for Michael Pace
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On the 25th March 2022 the new laws against the use of mobile phones whilst driving came into being.

The previous law governing the use of mobile phones whilst driving came under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. In 2003, new Regulations created a new s.110 to those Regulations. These were known as:

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No 4) Regulations 2003 and came into law on 1st December 2003.

The offence created was one that essentially said, if whilst driving, you were holding your phone during an 'interactive communication', you were in the wrong. It went onto to say that an interactive communication was;

  • Sending or receiving oral or written messages
  • Sending or receiving a fax
  • Sending or receiving still or moving images
  • Providing access to the internet.

It did not include, holding the phone whilst sorting out your music playlist, taking photos or making a video recording, or indeed paying for goods at a drive through.

For good reason the government has sort to close all the possible loopholes. I have no problem with this because it is well established that hand held mobile phone use whilst driving is dangerous.

So, from 25th March 2022 we now have to comply with:

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2022 which amend the wording in the original  s110 mentioned above.

Essentially the word 'Using', has been redefined in s.110.6.c as follows:

[if while holding the phone you are doing one of the below];

  1. Illuminating the screen
  2. Checking the time
  3. Checking notifications
  4. Unlocking the device
  5. Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet based call
  6. Sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content
  7. Sending, receiving or up loading a photo or video
  8. Utilising camera, video, or sound recording functionality
  9. Drafting any text
  10. Accessing an application
  11. Accessing the internet

The only exception to the above is making payment to a contactless card machine whilst stationary or, if making an emergency call to the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency service on 112 or 999 in a genuine emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to cease driving in order to do so.

If the phone user is in the course of supervising a learner driver at the time, then all of the above usage applies and in respect of emergency calls, then it has to be unsafe or impractical for the learner driver to cease driving whilst the emergency call is made.

Therefore the only way a mobile phone may be used for absolutely anything at all apart from paying in a drive through, is for it to be mounted in a proper cradle, where the screen can be activated by touch without having to hold the phone. In other words, 'hands free'. This includes using the phone as a satnav.

Don’t forget as well as the offences under these Regulations there are also other offences which can be committed. These are usually charged where the police cannot prove actual phone usage. This includes an offence of:

  1. Failing to be in Proper Control of the Vehicle
  2. Driving without Due Care or Driving Without Due Consideration for Other Road Users.

Both are offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

  • All are endorseable offences.
  • Mobile Phone offences - 6 points.
  • Failing to be in Control – 3 points
  • Careless or Inconsiderate Driving - 3 to 9 points.
  • All carry a financial penalty as well.

The court also has a discretion to disqualify the driver instead, if it thinks the offence is serious enough. This is usually where an accident has occurred or the offender is an HGV driver.

ROAD TRAFFIC LAW SERVICES

Our specialist Road Traffic Law team can assist you with all aspects of motor law. If you require assistance please contact:

Michael Pace TheMotorLawyer
Michael.pace@chattertons.com 
01522 781466