UK law on phone use while driving to be tightened

Loopholes in UK law governing the use of mobile phones while driving are to be tightened next year, pending consultation. In a BBC report, it is illegal to hold in your hand a mobile phone or satellite navigation – more popularly known in Malaysia as GPS – while driving.

Use of hands-free access is compulsory, with examples given on a UK government website including a Bluetooth headset, voice command, dashboard or windscreen holder. Additionally, mounting location of the mobile phone should not block the driver’s view of traffic and the road ahead.

The definition of the law also applies when the driver is queueing in traffic or stopped traffic lights. Police have the authority to stop a driver if they think the driver “is not in control because they are distracted” with the option of prosecution.

In 2019, there were 637 casualties on UK roads with 18 deaths and 135 serious injuries where a driver using a mobile phone was determined to be a contributing factor. Drivers in the UK have previously argued the current definition of the law, “it is illegal to use a device which performs an interactive communication while driving” to avoid fines on the basis taking photos or recording video does not fall under the law.

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