Suffolk Police are supporting a national THINK initiative! campaign to highlight the recent change in the law on mobile phone use while driving, which carries the key message: “Hands on the wheel? Don’t touch your phone.
On March 25 this year, it became illegal to use a mobile phone while driving for virtually any purpose – including taking photos, scrolling through playlists or social media accounts and playing games. games.
From Monday May 2 until Sunday May 8, Suffolk Police will raise awareness of the new law through education and enforcement.
The minimum penalty if caught driving using a mobile phone is six penalty points and a £200 fine. However, the maximum penalties are a £1,000 fine, six points and a driving ban.
Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Roads and Armed Police Team, said: ‘This new law has closed a gap in the law relating to the use of mobile phones behind the wheel, which was originally enforced at a time before phones had cameras and could be used to browse the internet.
“Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of most people’s lives, especially young people, and many of them are unable to resist the urge to check a message or check the latest message from a friend on social media.
“What everyone should be aware of is that there are no more gray areas in the law – you cannot hand-hold a phone while driving to follow a map, read or send messages , use the Internet, take photos, change music tracks or of course make or receive calls.
“There is an exemption that allows drivers to make a contactless payment at the wheel when they are stationary. However, it is still illegal to use your phone while sitting in stopped traffic, whether in a traffic jam or at a red light.
“While the focus of this campaign is to educate motorists about the law, we will be enforcing those caught breaking the law. We have been emphasizing the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving for many years now and our officers have too often faced the consequences, which have tragically been fatal in some cases.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: ‘I wholeheartedly support this law change for anyone caught using their phone while driving.
“Using a mobile phone while driving is reckless and costs lives. The safest thing to do is to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, not on your phone. All cars have a glove box, but I don’t know anyone who keeps gloves in them – so let’s call it a phone booth and get into the habit of putting our phones in there when we drive.
He added: “I know I’ve said this before, but the best way to make our roads safer is for every driver to remember the fatal four and put their phone out of reach, buckle up, watch their speed and don’t drink. or take drugs if you are going to drive, it shouldn’t be that hard and it will really make our roads safer for everyone.
More information on the THINK! campaign is available here: Mobiles 2022 – THINK!
Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower to recognize and react to hazards.
- You are 4 times more likely to have an accident if you use your phone.
- Your reaction times are 2 times slower if you’re texting and driving using a hands-free phone than if you’re driving drunk, and it increases up to three times if you’re using a cell phone.
Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration can lead to an accident. At 30 mph, a car travels 100 feet in 2.3 seconds.
It is illegal to use a cell phone or similar device for any purpose while driving. This means that you cannot hold a phone or similar device in your hand to follow a map, read and send messages, make or receive calls, use the Internet, take a photo or change a music track.
It is also illegal to use a cell phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
These two conditions apply even if you are stopped at a red light or waiting in traffic.
You can use a cell phone if you
- need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impossible to quit
- make a contactless payment, for example in a drive-thru
- park the vehicle remotely using an app on the phone.
You must wait until you are safely parked before using a handheld cell phone.
If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving you will get 6 penalty points on your licence, a £200 fixed penalty notice or a fine of up to £1,000 (or £2,500 if you are a bus or truck driver).
You also risk a driving ban; if you only get 6 points in the first 2 years after passing your exam, you will lose your licence.
The use of a hands-free device (for example, for navigation) is not a specific offense in the same way as the use of a hand-held mobile phone. However, if it distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.
You risk a driving ban
Points on your license result in higher insurance costs
Lose a job