The UK is clamping down even harder on using a phone while driving

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What you need to know

  • The UK is getting even tougher on using a phone while driving.
  • Laws are coming to ban all use, not just calls and texts.
  • It will also clarify that using a phone in a stationary vehicle counts as driving.

The UK is clamping down even harder on using a mobile phone while driving.

In a statement today the Department for Transport and transport secretary Grant Shapps MP said:

Police will soon be able to more easily prosecute drivers using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel after the government strengthens existing laws to further improve road safety.It is already illegal to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device while driving. Next year, laws will go further to ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.

Getting caught will mean a £200 fixed penalty notice and 6 points on your driving license. Of course, using a hands-free device, or one of Apple's best iPhones through CarPlay is permitted as long as the phone is secured in a cradle. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said "too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held" and that the new laws would bring guidance into the 21st century.

A UK public consultation showed 81% of participants supported strengthening laws. The government will also revise the Highway Code to reflect the new measures, and confirmed that it would be "more precise" about the fact using a phone while stationary in a car at traffic lights or in a motorway jam "is illegal except in very limited circumstances." One exemption will allow drivers to make contactless payment using a mobile phone while stationary, such as at a drive-through or toll booth, again to keep pace with tech.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9