Almost all mobile phone use will be banned from next year, with motorists guilty of facing six points on their license and a £200 fine.
Motorists will be banned from activities such as scrolling through playlists on a handheld device as part of a road safety crackdown. The Highway Code will also be updated to make it clear that even accidentally playing with your phone at a traffic light or in a traffic jam is against the law.
The changes announced by the Department of Transportation will make it easier to prosecute drivers using and holding a mobile phone while driving.
Under current law, drivers are prohibited from texting or calling while driving, except when hands-free. Under the new rules, drivers will not be allowed to take pictures or record videos, scroll through audio playlists or play games.
Drivers will still be allowed to use their device for satellite navigation, as long as it is securely held in a cradle. The screen can also be swiped to answer a call, as long as the phone does not leave the holder.
The exemption would allow drivers to make contactless payments with their phones while standing still, in places such as driveways or at toll booths.
This legislation will make the UK one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to phone use. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “By making it easier to prosecute unauthorized phone users, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all those who use their phones. Participants traffic”.
The change in the law has been welcomed by driving groups.
Edmund King, president of AA, said: “By treating cell phone use as socially unacceptable behavior like drinking and driving, we are taking important steps to make Our roads are safer. For many years, AA has lobbied hard and helped educate motorists about the dangers of poor cell phone use. ”
Simon Williams, RAC’s road safety spokesman, said: “While today’s announcement is clearly good news, it is paramount that the new law is vigorously enforced. otherwise there’s a risk it won’t bring about the kind of change that makes our roads safer. ”