Here's what new mobile phone driving laws mean for motorists in Aylesbury

Drivers in Aylesbury and beyond can expect stricter punishments going forward.

By James Lowson
Friday, 25th March 2022, 11:47 am

That’s after new changes to the laws around when it is acceptable to use your mobile phone in a car have been implemented today (25 March).

Now, motorists in Aylesbury and beyond face tougher sanctions which could lead to fines or points being added licences.

Brought into force today (25 March), one crucial difference in the new sanctions is that a loophole preventing motorists from being punished if they were caught playing a game or taking a picture on their phone has been eradicated.

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photo from Shutterstock, the laws are now stricker on mobile phone use in Aylesbury and beyond

It remains illegal to use your phone to make or receive a call while driving.

Yet previous language used in the legislation meant activities such as taking pictures or scrolling through music playlists were not considered illegal.

With the new rules in place, any use of a mobile phone while driving can be prosecuted.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said there is a “zero-tolerance approach” to mobile phone-use by drivers.

Harshest punishments include a £1,000 fine and up to six points being added to a driver's licence.

The original law was passed through 17 years ago and banned 'interactive communication', but didn't anticipate other applications and smart phone uses that have since become common.

While driving under the new law includes when a driver is stopped at traffic lights or in a jam.

The new law covers:

Illuminating the screen Checking the time on your phone Checking notifications Unlocking the device Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet-based call Sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video Utilising camera, video, or sound recording Drafting any text Accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages Accessing an app Accessing the internet

The law hasn’t changed around motorists being allowed to use their phones while driving during an emergency.

Use of a phone is also accepted when a driver is making a contactless payment at a parking site or tolling station.

Offenders will be issued a fixed £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.

If someone is caught within two years of passing their test, their licence will be revoked.

Speaking on behalf of the police forces which cover Aylesbury,

Sergeant Dave Hazlett, of the Road Safety Unit devised by Thames Valley Police and the Hampshire Constabulary, said: "Data shows you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision if you use a mobile phone while driving.

"The consequences of using a mobile phone at the wheel can be catastrophic, and you are placing not only yourself but other road users at significant risk.

"While the large majority of motorists will already avoid using their phone in these circumstances, this is an important change and one all road users should take note of.

"This change to the legislation closes several loopholes, and is an important step forward for road safety."

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