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Appeal for change to mobile phone driving legislation

Date: 09 August 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The government needs to update the wording of its law on the use of a mobile phone for driving, according to road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

Currently the law prohibits 'interactive communication' behind the wheel, but GEM says this leaves out other actions possible with a modern phone, such as taking video. 

This was highlighted in a recent court case where a driver had a conviction for filming an accident scene as he drove by overturned, although drivers who use phones in this way could still be prosecuted for more serious offences such as careless or dangerous driving.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: "The government's failure to bring legislation up to date is putting lives at risk. We now have an absurd situation where the wording of the law is insufficient and cumbersome, only stating 'interactive communication' as an illegal use of a mobile phone when driving, when we know it is clearly unsafe to use your mobile phone for any purpose when driving.

"Although penalties have increased, the specific wording of the law governing mobile phones and driving has not changed for 16 years. 

"We are writing to the government urging them to update the legislation at the earliest opportunity. This will ensure it is fit for purpose, and will avoid further compromise to road safety."