Recently, the mobile fixed penalty notice for using a handheld mobile phone while driving doubled. The fine is now £200 and 6 points on your licence. There have been many questions asked about the new, stricter rules. Here are some tips to remove the temptation to use your phone while driving.
- Turn it off or set the ringer to silent before you set off on your journey. Since you won’t see your notifications, you will be less tempted to respond to messages or calls. If you choose to set it on silent, putting your phone in the glove compartment could help deal with the desire to check it.
- Get an app such as ‘Drive Safe’ (on android) which silences your phone and Auto Replies to incoming calls and texts to say that you’re driving. If you have an apple device, you can go onto ‘settings’, click ‘Do Not Disturb’ then select ‘Do not Disturb’ again. This will silence your phone and set up an auto reply to texts.
- Park in a safe place (not the hard shoulder of the motorway) if you do have to use your phone. Make sure to turn your engine off before using your phone.
- When at traffic lights do not use your mobile phone or when stuck in traffic as these are considered against the law.
- Don’t call people if you know they are driving. If somebody says there are driving when you ring them, ask them to ring you back when they’re safely parked or when they have got where they need to go.
- Before you set off, send the messages and make the calls that you need to.
- If you have a hands-free device, the police can judge if you’re distracted or not when in control of your vehicle. You could still be stopped and penalised when you are using a hands-free device.
Although tempting to use, the consequences of using your phone when driving can be costly. The best thing you can do to ensure the safety of yourself, and others on the road is to switch your phone off and put it away when you are in the car.
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