This week will see a change in the law concerning the use of mobile phones while driving: don’t get caught out.
From Friday 25 March it will be illegal to use a mobile phone for any purpose while driving, and we are asking everyone to take note of the changes to keep themselves and all road users safe.
Adam Pipe, Head of Roads Policing in Essex explains:
“Every driver needs to know about this change. “The new law is very clear and will mean that whenever a driver holds or uses a mobile while they are driving, they will be breaking the law. “It means you can be issued a fixed penalty notice for scrolling for music, videoing or taking photos and not just using a mobile to make or take a phone call. “Just picking it up could see you break the law. “Some drivers feel they can drive safely whilst using a mobile, but distraction creeps in. If you are looking at and concentrating on your mobile’s screen, you are not looking at or concentrating on the road ahead, and that could have serious consequences for all road users. “We want the roads in Essex to be the safest they can be and we want everyone to play their part in that. “If the thing that you want to do can wait, then wait. “Don’t risk your life or the life of someone else just to do something that isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things.”
Using a mobile in the following ways, but not exclusively, will be illegal from 25 March:
• illuminating the screen • checking notifications and looking for the time • accessing the internet • making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or text or photo • using the camera, video, or sound recording functions
One new exemption will be in place: drivers will be able to use a mobile to pay for goods and services while seated in their car and when their vehicle is stationary; this includes paying a car park fee.
Using a phone as a satnav will be allowed, but only if it is docked in a cradle.