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New campaign from THINK! as law on mobile phone use whilst driving is toughened
From 25th March 2022, it is now illegal to use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for any use, including to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games – as the government closes a loophole previously exploited by dangerous drivers to escape conviction
The new campaign from THINK! targets young drivers in a bid to discourage mobile phone use behind the wheel which could result in a fine of us to £1,000, six points on your license and a driving ban.
Launched over several social media platforms and online video channels, the new campaign will show friends appearing in the back seat to intervene when the driver becomes tempted to use their phone behind the wheel until the end of April.
The campaign aims to get drivers to confront their behaviour by making mates present in the issue, unexpectedly appearing in the backseat of the car to intervene and stop them picking up the phone while driving.
“Hands on the wheel? Hands off your phone.”
With the strengthening of the law, drivers are able to make contactless payments, for example, at drive-throughs, so long as their vehicle is stationary. They can also still use a device ‘hands-free’ while driving if it’s secured in a cradle, allowing motorists to use their phone as a sat-nav.
The law was written before mobile phones could be used for more complicated tasks, such as taking videos, and so the update is to match the way in which mobile phones are now used, which is to do more than so-called ‘interactive communication’ such as making a call.
However, drivers must always take responsibility for their driving and can still be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle. The update to the law ensures nobody will be able to use the loophole to escape conviction.
Elliott Clifton-Thompson, personal injury solicitor at Potter Rees Dolan, said:
In an age where all our phones are constantly trying to grab our attention, whether it be notifications from social media, a group chat with your friends or getting pinged by a game, it is more important than ever that we remember the dangers of taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. The new rules on phone use will bring the law into the 21st century and are a welcome change to close the loopholes that have existed for too long.
With much of the misuse being amongst young drivers, campaigns such as this by THINK! will hopefully serve as a reminder to those often most seriously impacted for the rest of their lives by the sorts of accidents that can be caused by taking your eyes off the road.
Elliott Clifton-Thompson is a solicitor in personal injury here at Potter Rees Dolan. Should you have any queries about a road traffic accident involving a mobile phone or indeed any other aspect of personal injury and wish to speak to Elliott or any other member of the team, please contact us on 0800 027 2557 or contact Elliott directly.