The 25th of March marked a significant change to the law regulating driving whilst using a mobile phone. Prior to these changes, drivers could escape liability through a legislative loophole that permitted some phone usage, such as taking a photo or playing music. Despite using your phone whilst driving being illegal since 2003, the legislation centred around ‘interactive communication’ such as calling and texting.
Changes in the law
Previous legislation was not up to date with today’s smartphones, which have infinite functions compared to the Nokia 3310, the 2003 equivalent to the iPhone. The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986, which constitutes the offence, has been amended to update the law in line with technological advancements. This amendment criminalises the use of a mobile phone for virtually every purpose. Amongst many other uses, this includes checking the time, accessing apps and even illuminating your phone screen.
There are some exemptions where the law permits the use of a phone. These include calling emergency services and using your mobile for sat nav so long as the phone is not in your hand or blocking the view of the road. A new exemption is the use of the mobile for contactless payment at a drive-through or car park; the car must be stationary at the time of payment.
Contact our Road Traffic Offence Lawyers in Scotland
If you require legal advice or support or have been accused of a crime in Alloa, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Fife, Stirling, Falkirk, Edinburgh or another area throughout Scotland, it’s important to act fast.
Call our criminal defence lawyers on 01383 730 466 (Dunfermline), 01592 640 680 (Kirkcaldy), or 01259 725 922 (Alloa). You can also make an online enquiry, and a member of the team will get back to you.