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Law becomes stricter for people using phones while driving

by Jonathan Kearney

From today (Friday 25 March) the law on people using mobile phones while driving will become stricter.

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device while driving.

This will now extend to any use of the phone while driving, including unlocking the screen, opening an app or checking the time.

Anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and 6 points on their licence.

In 2020, 17 people were killed, 114 people were seriously injured, and 385 were slightly injured in road traffic collisions in Great Britain where the driver was using a mobile phone.

There will be an exemption to the new law for drivers making a contactless payment using their mobile phone while stationary to ensure the law keeps pace with technology.

This exemption will cover, for example, places like a drive-through restaurant or a road toll, and will only apply when payment is being made with a card reader. It will not allow motorists to make general online payments while driving.