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BedsFireAlert Changes in the law on driving while using a mobile phone

Alert message sent 25/03/2022 12:08:00

Information sent on behalf of Beds Fire & Rescue Service

Dear Citizen

On 25 March 2022(Today!) the law on people using their mobile phones while driving in Great Britain will become stricter.

The law has been updated to keep up with technology.
Since 2003, mobile devices have become capable of performing many more tasks beyond ‘interactive communication’. They are used to play music and games, take photos or videos, or scroll through articles.

Department of Transport Statistics illustrate the danger. In 2020, 17 people were killed, 114 people were seriously injured, and 385 were slightly injured in road traffic accidents in Great Britain where the driver was using a mobile phone.

What will the new law mean?
The new law will amend the 1986 Regulations and will mean the offence is triggered whenever a driver holds and uses a device, regardless of why they are holding it.

Will there be exemptions?
There is an existing exemption which allows a driver to use a phone in emergencies.
The new law creates one new exemption. Drivers will be permitted to hold and use a device while driving to make a contactless payment at a payment terminal for goods or services. The vehicle would have to be stationary, and the item being paid for must be provided at the same time or after the contactless payment is made. Such a transaction might include paying for a car park or drive-through coffee using a phone.

Mobile phone for navigation will continue to be legal, as long as it is kept in a cradle and not in the driver’s hand.

The Government will update both the guidance on Using a phone or a sat nav when driving and the Highway Code, to reduce misunderstandings about the new law, particularly on the difference between hand-held and hands-free use.

More information can be found here 

Please remember road safety is everyone’s responsibility.  Using a mobile phone While driving is a distraction.  If you have to use it at all make sure it is in a cradle.  It is far safer to turn it off, or put it out of the way in the boot or glovebox.  Protect yourself and your loved ones by avoiding the temptation and chance of getting distracted.  Far too many people are killed on our roads because of causes that could have been prevented by being a responsible road user.

Kind regards

Message sent by
Stacey Moore (Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Area Community Safety Officer, Bedfordshire)

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