I Was Using A PDA Not Making A Call

Question:

I just read your article on the internet and hope you can advise me,.

I was issued a fixed penalty notice for using a phone while driving and chose to fight it in the magistrates court.

My phone bills show that the phone was not used at the time of the offense.

However, it is also a PDA and whilst stopping at traffic lights I removed it from its cradle to unlock the screen and see what my next appointment was.

The magistrate held that this constituted use of the phone!

I am a bit gutted as it has cost me a lot more money and I was sure that by checking an appointment on a PDA did not constitute an offence under the act.

Can you advise please? I am not sure whether to appeal this now.

Many thanks in advance.

Paula Says:

You have to use the phone for a telecommunication purpose to be guilty of this offence.

My view is that using the phone as a PDA and not actually communicating with anyone else or reading texts/listening to voice messages is not an offence.

Jimmy Carr used his phone as a Dictaphone to record jokes whilst he was driving and the court agreed this was not a telecommunication purpose.

I therefore think that you had/have a strong defence and that you should consider an appeal. I cannot guarantee that you will succeed but you have a good chat. This is a fairly novel area of law and it is constantly evolving.

If you are up for a fight come back to me. If we win you get your legal costs back. I maybe able to persuade the CPS not to oppose the appeal.



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