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UK government to make all use of mobile phones while driving illegal

Any use of a device, even while the car is stationary, could result in a £200 fine and six points on your licence

The UK government has tightened up laws around mobile phones, preparing to deem any use of such illegal while driving.

As it stands, it's only illegal to call or send a text while driving. The strengthened law will extend that to cover "virtually any circumstance", according to new guidance from the Department of Transport.

This includes taking photos or videos, scrolling through music playlists and playing games. The revised law is due to come into effect sometime next year.

Anyone caught using a mobile device at the wheel will face a £200 fixed penalty and six points on their licence. This includes use at traffic lights or in traffic jams where the car is stationary.

Drivers can still operate their phones 'hands-free' for apps such as a sat-nav, if it is secured in a cradle somewhere in the vehicle.

"Too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held," said transport secretary Grant Shapps. "By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users."

Mary Williams, boss of road safety charity Brake, added: "Driver distraction can be deadly and using a handheld phone at the wheel is never worth the risk. This important road safety decision by the government, coinciding with Road Safety Week, is very welcomed."

"This news is particularly welcomed by families suffering bereavement and catastrophic injury due to drivers being distracted by phones. The theme for Road Safety Week is road safety heroes - we can all be road safety heroes by giving driving our full attention."

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Danielle Partis avatar
Danielle Partis: Danielle is a multi award-winning journalist and editor that joined in 2021. She previously served as editor at, and is also a co-founder of games outlet Overlode.
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