There have been a number of high profile stories in the papers in recent years where drivers using mobile phones have caused serious road traffic accidents that have resulted in the deaths of other road users. According to the AA, a driver is twice as likely to crash texting and driving, than drinking and driving. It is fourteen years ago since it became illegal to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving but recent changes to the law were put in place with tougher penalties for those drivers who flout the law.
Mobile phones have become a part of everyday life and with all the APPS that are available they are very useful when on touring holidays in your motor home or caravan for:
- built in maps
- staying in contact with friends and family
- booking campsites
We have put together an outline of the new rules and what is and isn’t allowed for motorhome drivers and those towing a caravan.
The law states that if a driver uses a hand-held phone, they can now get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine and a new driver, who passed their driving test within the last 2 years, will lose their licence. Picking up so many penalty points could also result in higher insurance costs.
- It’s illegal to use your phone while driving a car or motorhome unless you have hands-free access, such as: a Bluetooth headset, voice command, or a dashboard holder.
- The law still applies to you if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
- If you use your phone hands-free, 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’re distracted and you can be prosecuted.
- If you use your phone hands-free keep calls brief and then follow it up when you can safely stop.
- It’s illegal to read a text message, check your social media or stream and watch videos when you’re behind the wheel of your motorhome or car.
- If you’re using your phone as a sat-nav then it must be mounted in a hands-free holder. It’s illegal to hold your phone and use it as a map for directions.
- You can only use a hand-held phone if you are safely parked with the engine off.
- You can use a hand held phone to make an emergency call to 999 or 112 but only if it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.