Mobile Phone Driving Offences
It’s an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving a motor vehicle. Under current UK case law, ‘driving’ includes being stationary if the engine is running, including in traffic queues and at traffic lights. (Section 110 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986).
This offence carries a standard fine of £200 and 6 penalty points, with a maximum of up to £1000 and 6 points on your driving licence.
If you dispute the allegation and reject the fixed penalty and subsequently proceed to Trial, there is a risk of a higher fine if you were to be convicted and the associated court costs, but the points will not increase.
To be convicted of the offence, the prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were actually driving with a mobile telephone in your hand AND that you were using it.
‘Using’ a mobile telephone means not just making or receiving calls, but also includes using it for any telecommunication purpose. A telecommunication purpose includes texting while driving, using any other Apps, or messenger services that allow you to communicate with other people.
If you get caught driving while using a mobile and if you were considered to be holding the phone, you will be at risk of 6 points and a fixed penalty or a summons to court.
We have dealt with numerous cases where client’s have been accused of using their mobile phone whilst driving and they have advised that they were not doing so as alleged by the police officer. As such, if you deny the offence, then you should plead Not Guilty and as such your case will be set down for a Trial in the Magistrates’ Court.
In order to be found not guilty of a hand-held phone related driving offence you need to cast a doubt.
Your case may be that the officer was mistaken in what he saw or that you simply were not using the phone at the time as could be evidenced by way of production of your call records to show that no calls or texts etc, were made or received around the time of the alleged driving offence. These records can also include your call or data usage records, or evidence that you had made or received text messages or communications via other messenger apps, Facebook, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Twitter etc.
If when stopped by an officer, they do not examine your call/text history at your request then this can be used to your advantage at trial by way of the officer being cross examined on this issue as the officer is under a duty to conduct a full evidential investigation.
A conviction for this offence carries six penalty points and as such could put you at risk of disqualification should you have six penalty points existing on your licence. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case with us if you are faced with this alleged offence.
Contact us for a free initial telephone advice session with an experienced solicitor on 07398169441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org