The current laws from GOV.UK state that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone or sat nav while driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle. You must have hands-free access, such as:
- Bluetooth headset
- Voice command
- Dashboard holder or mat
- Windscreen mount
- Built-in sat nav
If using a hands-free mounting device, the unit must not block your view of the road and traffic ahead.
You must stay in complete control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you're not in control because you're distracted and driving without due care.
The law also applies to you if you're:
- Queuing in traffic
- Stopped at traffic lights
- Supervising a learner driver
- Using phone books, internet functions and apps (non-call functions)
The law applies to all handheld devices like tablet PCs, PDA, or hand-operated sat navs, all of which shouldn't be used while driving.
What changes have recently been made to the law?
The Department for Transport constantly reviews the laws regarding using your mobile phone while driving.
In Spring 2021, updates to the law were made to help seal a legal loophole that drivers were exploiting. The new laws mean drivers won't be able to have any physical interaction with their mobile phone while driving. This includes touching a phone to reject a call, to check the time or to even to switch off the device.
The Department for Transport declares, "People using a hand-held mobile phone in all circumstances while driving will be breaking the law, under new government plans unveiled by Roads Minister Baroness Vere to close a legislation loophole and improve road safety."