Friday 1 March 2024
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Uninsured motorist was ‘filling out a website form’ on a mobile phone while driving along the M1

Police stopped the motorist after seeing her using a mobile device.

Police said the driver was ‘filling out a form’ on a website while travelling along the M1 in Derbyshire.

When officers stopped the driver, it was also discovered they were driving without insurance, and had six points on their licence too.

Police said:

‘M1. Driver of this Citroen seen filling out a form on a website using her phone.

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‘Stopped to discuss and find she has no insurance.

‘Already on 6 points.

‘Ban incoming.’

Since 25 March, 2022 motorists are breaking the law if they 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.

Anyone caught using their handheld device while driving could face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as 6 points on their licence or a full driving ban.

The government’s award-winning THINK! team is also today launching an £800,000 awareness campaign to remind drivers not to use a handheld phone at the wheel and of the penalties if choosing to ignore this new 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.

They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.

Updates to the law follow a public consultation that found 81% of respondents supported proposals to make it easier for culprits to be prosecuted.

The law previously only applied to so-called ‘interactive communication’ such as making a call, as it was written before mobile phones could be used for more complicated tasks, such as taking videos.

Previously those caught using their mobiles at the wheel have in some cases been able to escape conviction by claiming that they weren’t using them for interactive communication.

The update to the law ensures nobody will be able to use the loophole to escape conviction.

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