Driving while using a mobile phone

Changes to the penalty

People caught using a mobile phone while driving will receive a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.

Sussex Police carry out high profile spot checks around Brighton & Hove and target drivers and cyclists using their mobile phones while driving.

The police are keen to reinforce that this is not a new law but that it now carries a higher fine and penalty points.

Drivers can also be prosecuted for using a hands free mobile phone if they are not in full control of the vehicle. The penalties for driving carelessly or dangerously when using a mobile phone include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.

Drivers must not use their phone even if they are sitting at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

Employers can also be prosecuted if their employees are required to make or receive calls whilst driving.

About 50% of collisions are attributed to failure to look properly or failure to judge speed/path of a vehicle. Mobile phone distraction contributes to this. Research shows that the use of hands free kit is as distracting as a handheld phone in the car.  If you have to use your phone, then pull over to a safe and legal space, turn the engine off and make the call.

The only exception to this law is that a driver may call 999 or 112 in response to a genuine emergency, if it is unsafe or impractical to stop.