Glued to Your Phone? It Could Lose You Your Licence
Have you ever used your phone whilst driving to check your mail, social media accounts, or even just to check the time?
A recent survey by Kent County Council found that 1 in 3
drivers are still continuing to use their phone whilst driving. So, do you really know the law and what you could lose just by picking up your phone at the wheel?
Why Aren't People Listening?
Despite figures released recently by the National Safety Council
, which found that motorists using mobile phones
account for 26 percent of all car accidents
, people are still continuing to take that risk.
During a recent crackdown on drivers using phones by police in the West Midlands, 117 motorists were caught using their phones in one week
. They reported that one driver even admitted to making a call even though he had heard about the campaign cracking down on motorists using phones in the area.
West Midlands Police have branded people who can't help but resist using their phone whilst driving 'FOMOs'
, that is, people who are glued to their phones because of a, 'Fear Of Missing Out'
Our Motoring Offences
specialist, Julie Robertson, agrees that people just aren't taking note:"Those stuck in traffic, or people who are running late for something can be especially tempted to use their phone in an effort to multitask. Whatever your situation, using your phone still distracts your attention and is incredibly dangerous."
Do You Know the Law?
The penalty for using a mobile phone, or a similar device, whilst driving a car, is 3 penalty points and up to a £1000 fine
where a fixed penalty is not offered. However, the maximum fine increases to £2,500
if the offence is committed in an HGV or a passenger vehicle, carrying over 8 passengers. If you already have points you could risk totting up
, which means you could face a period of disqualification.
FOMO - No Joke…
Whatever your situation, you always have the right to defend your case in court. It could be the case that mistakes have been made on the part of the police officer, upon which you can present evidence, such as phone records, to support your defence.
A case involving a British comedian, Jimmy Carr
, saw him cleared of using a mobile phone whilst driving as his solicitor argued he was using his phone as a dictaphone to 'record a joke'
. Carr's defence was successful as it was proven that he wasn't using his phone in an interactive way.
The Jimmy Carr case just shows how beneficial the support of a solicitor can be. If you find yourself in a position where you're facing a fixed penalty notice or disqualification, it's important to get the right legal advice.We offer realistic advice and represent many motorists accused of driving whilst using their mobile telephone. We offer initial free advice and therefore, if in doubt, give us a call.