Let's make this clear - using a handheld mobile phone while driving is illegal. It has been since 2003. From 1 March 2017, the penalties for holding and using your phone while driving increased. Now you'll get 6 points on your license and a fine of £200.
It is not illegal to use hands free, but any time a driver’s attention is not on the road can be dangerous.
Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.
Your reaction times are two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive, and this increases to three times if you use a handheld phone.
Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.
It's illegal to use a mobile when driving. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. The points on your licence will also result in higher insurance costs.
If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
Using hands free (e.g. for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.
Our Top Tips for using a mobile whilst driving