Iphone Sat Nav


CU80 – Driving whilst using handheld mobile phone


I received my first FPN a CU80 for allegedly using my iPhone whilst driving. However I was not using the iPhone as a phone but instead as a Sat Nav, using N drive Navigation software. Situation:-

Due to go to a Team building event at a location I had not visited before, I decide that despite following other cars from work in case I was separated I would switch on my Sat Nav on my iPhone. This was placed in the Cup Holder by the Gear stick, giving verbal directions.

No further interaction between the iPhone and I was required. The stupid thing I did was not to use my Screen mount for this, however I did not believe I was committing an offence as I was not using the iPhone as a Mobile Phone. Almost at my destination I was pulled over, the officer asked what I thought I had done and I replied I did not know.

He looked down and said he saw me using and looking at my Mobile phone while driving. Despite assurances that I was not he proceeded in stating that Sat Navs were more dangerous than talking on a phone as the screen was a distraction. I was polite but he still proceeded in writing the ticket and then reading me my rights.

He did not offer me a choice of court or FPN, not sure if he was meant to?

Also afterwards I looked at the Ticket and the Location of the address was incorrect, as x was entered not x. x being the other side of x.

Overall the officer was firm with his stance and I understood his point but I asked twice for the interpretation of the Law as I did not think it included items such as SAT NAVS (Once when handing my licence in at the station) but both times I received the reply that only if the item is in a fixed bracket is it a legitimate device.

Do I have any grounds to defend this or is my understanding on the Mobile law incorrect, I have also requested a copy of my Mobile Call and Text Log from Orange (Awaiting this) to prove that it was not in use as a Mobile at any time around my driving period.

I hope you can help?

Many thanks

Paula Says:

The law states that you can only be guilty of the offence if you are using a hand held mobile phone for one of its telecommunication purposes at the time that you are driving.

I take your point. The prosecution will be able to prove that your iPhone is a phone.

The issue as to whether or not it was hand held is debatable – it is a phone that you hold in your hand – but you say that you were not holding it whilst driving.

The main issue is whether or not you were using it for telecommunication purposes. I think it will be possible to suggest that you were – data is being sent back and forth between the device and a satellite so the court may well reach the view that it was being used for telecommunication purposes. It’s debatable…

If you take it to court I think there is a risk – but there is also a chance that the court will agree that using it as a sat nav and not holding it does not constitute the offence.

If you are up for a fight and want my help with this matter please come back to me.

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