Bucks drivers warned about law changes for using mobile phones behind the wheel

Motorists in Buckinghamshire are being reminded not to use their mobile phone when behind the wheel, even when stationary.  New legislation comes into force within the next few months and Travel Safe Bucks, the council’s road safety initiative is promoting the change in plenty of time, so drivers don’t get caught out.

It is already against the law to use a hand-held device to send a text or make a call while driving unless you’re in an emergency. However, laws are now going to go even further to ban drivers from using their phones, for taking photos and videos, playing games and scrolling through playlists. Anyone caught using a hand-held device while driving for any of these reasons will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and six points on their licence.

The change in legislation comes after a public consultation found that 81% of people supported proposals to strengthen the law and make it easier for culprits to be prosecuted.

In addition to the strengthening of the laws around mobile phones, The Highway Code will also become more precise about the fact that it is also illegal to use a phone whilst stationary in traffic or stopped at traffic lights, as being stationary in a car counts as ‘driving’.

Cabinet Member for Transport, Steven Broadbent, said: “Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an incredibly dangerous thing to do and puts so many people at risk. People think that if they’re stopped in traffic, it’s okay to send a quick text, but that’s not the case – you can still be prosecuted.”

Research has shown that using your mobile phone whilst driving means you’re four times more likely to crash. Drivers distracted by their phone also have trouble staying in their own lane and managing their speed.

Steve continued: “Please set up your satnav or music before you head off on your journey and put your phone out of reach to avoid temptation. Sending a quick text, taking a quick photo… it is just not worth the risk.

“All it takes is a quick glance away from the road, down at your phone, for you to break the law and worse still, risk catastrophic consequences, to you, your passengers and the public.”

To find out more about the new legislation, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/any-use-of-hand-held-mobile-phone-while-driving-to-become-illegal