Caught Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone

Caught Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone?

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists who are  charged with using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving. We have successfully defended many motorists who were Caught Driving Whilst Using a Mobile Phone.

It is an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving. This offence also extends to the use of other communication devices including personal computers, satellite navigation and two-way radios.

The term “use” is broadly interpreted by the courts, however it should generally be confined to the use of some interactive function of the phone such as making telephone calls, texting, emailing, browsing the web or receiving data.

The maximum penalty for using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving is a fine of £1,000 and the endorsement of 3 penalty points.

If you have a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Below you will find helpful information on Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving) Law, How We Can Help and Commonly Asked Questions.

Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving) Law

Penalty for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving)

The maximum penalty for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving) is a fine of £1,000 and the endorsement of 6 penalty points (applying to offences committed on or after 1st March 2017).

In many cases a motorist who is alleged to have committed this offence will be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice imposing a £200 penalty and 6 penalty points. This is in the alternative to formal prosecution before a Magistrates’ Court.

If you have a Fixed Penalty Notice, Court Summons or Single Justice Procedure Notice for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Defences to Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving)

There are a number of defences to the offence of Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving). In addition to technical procedural arguments, these can include:

- I was calling the emergency services (999) in a genuine emergency and it was not safe or practicable to stop;

- I was not “using” a communicative function of the phone; and

- I was not driving.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice, Summons or Single Justice Procedure Notice for an offence of Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving), please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Specialist Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving) Solicitor Representation

How we can help

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists who are charged with offences of Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving).

We have successfully defended many motorists charged with this offence and are able to use our expertise and experience to secure the best possible results on behalf of our clients.

If you have a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Commonly Asked Questions About Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving)

What is "Using" a handheld mobile phone whilst driving?

The law on what amounts to “using” a handheld phone is very broad and whether you are considered to be using a mobile phone will be a matter of fact for each and every case.

In general terms, you will be considered to be “using” a handheld mobile phone if you are doing any of the following:

- Talking on your phone;

- Sending a text message or reading a received message;

- Browsing on the internet;

- Using social media e.g. Facebook or Twitter;

- Sending or reading a received email; or

- Using an interactive map.

If you have received a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summons for an offence of Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving), please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

I have received a Fixed Penalty Notice for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone - What should I do?

If you are offence a Fixed Penalty Notice for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving) and you accept that you have done so, then you should accept the Fixed Penalty Notice.

This will require you to pay a £100 penalty and will result in 3 penalty points being endorsed on your driving licence.

You should only accept a Fixed Penalty Notice if you accept that you have committed the offence.

If you have not committed the offence, then you may reject the Fixed Penalty Notice and request a hearing before the Magistrates’ Court where you will be able to have a trial and put your version of events.

If you have been offered a Fixed Penalty Notice for Using a Handheld Mobile Phone (whilst driving) and you wish to challenge it, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation to see how we can help.

Is texting and driving an offence?

It is an offence to use your mobile device for any texting purposes while driving. This applies to both the sending and reading of text messages.

You could be caught texting and driving even if you just happen to look at a text, and it doesn’t matter if you do this when you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. The only time you can send or view a message is when you are safely parked up.

The law states that you must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’ve been distracted either by sending or reading a text or other type of message.

The penalties for being caught texting while driving became stricter in 2017, doubling the punishment that you could receive. A driver caught texting and driving could face a penalty point endorsement of 6 points and a £200 fine. For new drivers the punishment is more severe, as anyone caught texting at the wheel within two years of passing their test will have their licence removed and face having to retake their driving test.

If the texting results directly in bad driving or causes an accident, you could be prosecuted for careless driving, dangerous driving or, if someone is killed, for causing death by careless or dangerous driving. Fines would be far greater, and prison would be almost certain if the texting and phone use has led to a death.

The same fixed penalties (6 points and £200 fine) would also apply should you be caught sending messages on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp while driving.

Research suggests that you are twice as likely to crash text driving as you are drink driving, and that is why the Government was so keen to increase the penalties for being caught texting while driving, and other uses of a mobile phone while in charge of a vehicle.

The easy way to avoid being caught for text driving is to put the phone away while you are driving in order to resist temptation. Should you be caught texting and driving, contact us to ensure you get the best available advice.

Can I use my mobile phone as a sat nav?

You may be wondering whether it is legal to use your phone as a sat nav. The law says it is legal to use a phone for navigation purposes, but it must be used hands-free (securely mounted to a holder or mat) and not be placed in a position that blocks your view of the road ahead.

You must not touch the mobile device while driving, so this means you are not allowed to hold your phone or place it on your lap to use it as a sat nav. Additionally, you are not allowed to touch the phone when stopped, such as at traffic lights or when queuing in traffic. The only time you can touch the mobile phone is when you are safely parked up.

If you intend to use your phone for navigation, then you must set the destination before you depart. Should you need to amend the route, you must pull over and park in order to do so, or use the map’s navigation in conjunction with a headset or voice command.

Even if you adhere to all the advice above, it is still possible for the police to prosecute if they believe that you are distracted and not in full control of your vehicle, because of your use of your mobile phone as a sat nav.

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