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UK completely prohibits handhelds smartphone usage while driving

The United Kingdom is going to tighten up its laws on car telephone use. From next year, all handheld phone use in the car will be prohibited, even if the vehicle is stationary.

It was already forbidden to hold the phone while driving and use it for phone calls and text messages, but taking photos, playing games, playing music and using the phone in any other way. In the Netherlands and Belgium, the law has long established that road users are not allowed to control mobile phones while driving, so the United Kingdom will follow as of 2022. Hands-free use is still allowed, even in the UK.

Furthermore, the Highway Code clarifies that stopping in traffic also counts as driving. When drivers are standing in front of a traffic light, or standing still in a traffic jam, they are not allowed to hold a phone. This makes the law different from that in the Netherlands, which allows it. If users, even in this stationary situation, are caught holding a mobile device, they will be fined £ 200 and six penalty points on their driver’s license. In the UK, a novice driver will have to hand in his or her driving licence.

Exceptions to these rules are when the phone needs to be used in emergencies, and for payments; for example, in a drive-thru or on a toll road. The government clarifies that making online purchases via a mobile device while driving is not allowed.

The UK government says the stricter laws are coming because of the results of a public consultation in which 81% of respondents voted in favour of the proposal. The British Transport Minister says that the new legislation will make it easier to catch the guilty, making roads safer.

Brian O'Neil

Brian O'Neil is the founder and chief editor. He was a journalist in the original LS TV before it closed in 2017.

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