The British Government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole which has allowed drivers to escape prosecution for hand-held mobile phone use while driving.
At present, the law prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text. However, people caught filming or taking photos while driving have escaped punishment as lawyers have successfully argued this activity does not fit into the ‘interactive communication’ currently outlawed by the legislation.
The revised legislation will mean any driver caught texting, taking photos, browsing the internet or scrolling through a playlist while behind the wheel will be prosecuted for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
It is already a criminal offence to use a phone while driving without a hands-free device. This latest move will see government go further to ensure the law reflects the use of devices which allow other distracting activities.
The impacts of this behaviour are proven – if a driver looks at their phone for just two seconds when travelling at 30 miles per hour, whether to reply to a message or send a quick snap, they will travel 100 feet blind, drastically increasing the chance of accidents.
The review will be urgently taken forward with further proposals expected to be in place by next Spring – making the offence clearer for drivers and police forces.