It is believed that phoning while driving is as dangerous as drink-driving and, under existing case law, you are regarded as driving while your engine is running and your vehicle is stationary.
This means that, if you are using your phone, even if you have stopped at a traffic light, you could still be prosecuted for a phoning while driving offence. Just this week, former England footballer David Beckham was in the news, as he had recently been charged with and pleaded guilty to using his mobile phone while driving. He is due to be sentenced shortly.
Phoning while driving: penalties
Since March 2017, penalties for phoning while driving using a hand-held phone have increased from three to six penalty points and fines have increased from £100 to £200 when driver is issued with a fixed penalty notice.
In August 2018, a motorist who was texting shortly before a fatal collision which killed two pedestrians was jailed after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. The motorist was sentenced to six years imprisonment. It was found that he had been using his mobile phone and had sent a text message 42 seconds before he called 999 to report the incident.
For more information on motoring offences including driving while using a phone, contact our Motor Prosecutions team.