Mobile Phones When Driving

Mobile phones when driving – The Law

It’s illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices. The rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device* when supervising a learner driver or rider.

*A similar device includes anything that a call can be made on, such as a tablet device, or phones which are part of a wrist watch.

You can get an automatic Fixed Penalty Notice if you’re caught using a hand-held phone while driving or riding. You’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200.

Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 if you’re driving a lorry or bus)

If you passed your driving test in the last 2 years, you’ll lose your licence.

In some circumstances, for example if use of a phone has caused or contributed to an accident, the Police may prosecute for driving without due care or dangerous driving in order to secure a more severe punishment.

For more information, including details on the recent changes in legislation please go to :


When you can use a phone in your vehicle

If you’re the driver, you can only use your phone in a vehicle if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop or are safely parked. You can use hands-free phones, satellite navigation systems and two way radios when you’re driving or riding. But if the police think you’re distracted and not in control of your vehicle you could still get stopped and penalised.

If you are safely parked and dial a number to begin a call before you set off on a journey, you can continue with the call when you are hands-free. However, you must end the call using hands-free, not by pressing the phone itself.

You can also use your phone if it is stored in a dashboard-holder. A dashboard holder allows the phone to be connected to the vehicle which means that people are not touching their phone whilst driving.

Hands-free means that the phone call is made and ended through buttons in the vehicle and not by touching the phone in any way.  

Emergency services are allowed to use two-way radios so that they can use their radios whilst they are on their way to incidents. Emergency vehicles have radios fitted next to the steering wheel which can be pressed whilst driving.

The law doesn’t include changing radio stations, changing a CD, having a drink, or having a cigarette. These can still distract people. However, using a mobile phone is more distracting which is why there is a law in place.

More information about Road Safety and these subjects is available from the following websites: