It is time to go truly hands-free behind the wheel
UK drivers will next week face a £200 fine as a new Highway Code comes into force, further tightening restrictions around using phones while behind the wheel.
While it is already against the law to use a hand-held device while driving unless it’s an emergency, the new rules ban drivers from using the phone’s camera, playing games, or scrolling through music.
The only exception to the rule is motorists will still be able to use their phone to pay for things like toll roads or at drive-throughs when the car is stationary.
Drivers can still use a “hands-free” device when driving, such as a sat-nav, but they must make sure they are driving responsibly.
As well as the fine, drivers will also get six points on their driving licence.
According to The Express, new research has found that around 1.79 million motorists will use their phones while on the motorway.
New roadside cameras are already being trialled to monitor people’s driving activity on the motorway and according to reports, one camera has caught around 15,000 drivers using their phones while driving.
The system used artificial intelligence to take photos of all drivers, with rule-breakers being automatically identified to face further action.
Previously, mobile phone laws were only enforceable by police witnessing the offences while driving alongside offending motorists.
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Ryan Fulthorpe, an expert from GoCompare, said the trial has shown “the shocking number” of people breaking road laws while driving.
He said it is “clear that more needs to be done to enforce these safety measures to keep the roads as safe as possible for all road users”.
“If the number of drivers caught using their phones continues to reflect the data suggested from the trial, we hope that the ability to effectively penalise those breaking the rules will act as a powerful deterrent to dangerous driving,” he said, adding: “Hopefully, with more accurate and conscientious monitoring of road safety, we will continue to see the number of offences fall and safer roads as a result.”