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New phone laws make roads safer

Published: 02 December 2003

Updated: 19 November 2014

The roads should become safer for motorcyclists as new laws make it an offence for car drivers to use hand-held mobiles on the move.

From Monday, December 1, car drivers found to be using their hand-held phones will be subject to a £30 fine, which can be increased to a maximum of £1000 if the matter goes to court. And the Government plans to increase the penalty to £60 and three penalty points in the future.

Hands-free phones, navigation units and intercoms are still fine to use as long as they do not need to be held for use.

Road safety minister David Jamieson said: " You are four times more likely to be involved in an accident when using a mobile phone and driving. I hope motorists will stop using their phones while driving. We don’t want to catch people, we want them to drive safely.

" Today’s new law applies to hand-held mobiles but using any type of phone while driving increases the risk of having an accident. Remember the police can still use other powers to prosecute a driver if they are distracted by a call on a hands-free phone. "

Before this law came into effect, drivers using mobile phones could only be prosecuted for failing to have full control of their vehicle or for dangerous driving. The offence has been left deliberately broad so that even if the driver is holding the phone under their chin, they will still be liable to prosecution.

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