Mobile driving b&w

Mobile Phones

Discover the true dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

The penalties for holding and using a mobile phone while driving is 6 points and £200, drivers could also lose their licence if they passed their driving test within the last 2 years.

Motorists are breaking the law if they use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for any use, including taking photos or videos, scrolling through music playlists, using streaming services, or playing games.

The law still applies if a driver is stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, supervising a learner driver, or using a car that has a start/stop engine when you’re not moving.

According to the RAC Report on Motoring 2022, 77% of drivers say they never make or receive calls on a handheld phone, above the 69% recorded in 2016. Meanwhile, 91% of drivers never text, email or post on social media compared with only 80% in 2016, 86% never check notifications or messages (73% in 2016), and 94% never take photos or videos (85% in 2016).

Any second a driver’s attention is not on the road is a second that could cause a catastrophic accident. Even on familiar, short and slower journeys, the road should be given 100% of your attention, 100% of the time.

The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership have previously worked with De Montfort University students who helped us create this mobile phone zombies social media campaign highlighting the dangers of pedestrian distraction:



The reality


Drivers using a hands-free or handheld phone are slower to recognise and react to hazards.

Car Crash Icon

You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone. Read research report.


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. Read research report


A split-second lapse in concentration can result in a crash.

Know your limits


It’s illegal to use a handheld device 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.


The consequences

Mobile phone usage penalties may include:

  • White tick icon If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
  • White tick icon If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
  • White tick icon 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.

What you should consider

Put your phone away before driving so you won’t be tempted to use it.

Make the glove compartment the phone compartment.

Don’t call other people when they’re driving.

Use hands free devices responsibly.


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