Mobile Phone Offences
In England and Wales, it is an offence to use a hand held device whilst driving. The law in relation to this offence was first drafted in the 1980s before the more recent advances in technology and is, therefore, open to interpretation.
A question that regularly crops up is “am I guilty of the offence if I am using the phone but not to make a call or send a text?” The answer to that question is not certain. In England and Wales for the offence to be committed the device has to used whilst driving a vehicle, has to be handheld and also be adapted for the purposes of interactive communication.
One situation that arises frequently is where a driver picks up his phone in order to access information or use an application but is not actually using the phone to make a call even though the phone has been adapted for that purpose. In our experience there has been a lack of consistency throughout the Courts in relation to how this area of law is applied.
It is essential that, if you intend to dispute an allegation of this nature, that you immediately contact your service provider for records of all incoming and outgoing calls and text messages that can be produced at Court if necessary. This information will not always appear on a normal phone bill. The offence will almost always carry 3 points and a £60 fine.