Using Mobile Phone While Driving Offences


The Driving Offence

It’s an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone while 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. Prosecutions for these offences are designed to promote UK road safety. (Section 110 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986).

Offence Code: CU80

Mobile Phone Offence Penalties:

  • 6 Penalty Points
  • £200 Min Fine / £1000 Max
  • Discretionary Driving ban
  • Up To £2500 fine for Bus, Coach & Heavy Goods Drivers

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 (The fine can rise to £2,500 if you are driving a bus, coach or heavy goods vehicle).

If you choose to reject the fixed penalty and ask for a court hearing you will be at risk of higher fines and court costs but the points will remain the same.

What Do The Prosecution Have To Prove?

The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were actually driving with a phone in your hand and in use.

On 25 March 2022 “Use” was changed to include using the device for any purpose, not just making or receiving calls.

This includes texting while driving, using any other Apps, or messenger services. This offence is not just using your mobile as a phone to talk to people while driving.

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.

Accused of Mobile Phone While Driving - Casting A Doubt:

In order to be found not guilty of a hand-held mobile phone related driving offence you need to cast a doubt.

You can do this by giving evidence that you were not using or holding the mobile whilst driving and that the officer was mistaken (you should rarely accuse an officer of lying unless you can prove this beyond any doubt!).

It also help if you are able to exhibit your call records to show that no calls or texts etc, were made or received around the time of the alleged driving offence.

Bear in mind if you are caught using a hand-held phone (or texting) whilst driving, that quite often the police will not be interested in gathering relevant evidence of the offence.

This potential evidence can 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.

Police Officer Refused to Look at my Phone at the Time!

Sometimes officers will refuse to look at your device usage history in order to verify your call records.

This can be used to your advantage at trial.

This is because a police officer is under a duty to carry out a proper investigation. He is required to look for both evidence that points towards a driving offence (of hand-held Mobile Phone While Driving use) having been committed and also evidence that points away from a driving offence being committed.

When the officer is cross examined at trial it should be put to him that he was offered the opportunity to check the phone records and texting history but failed to do so.

Not Being in Proper Control of a Vehicle

Police officers will often stop you on suspicion of driving while using a hand-held phone and then change the allegation at the last minute.

They will often change the charge to "not being in proper control of a vehicle".

This carries the risk of 3 points or a discretionary driving ban, fines and court costs.

You normally get the offer of 3 penalty points on your driving licence and a £100 fixed penalty.

Not Being in Proper Control Penalties:

  • Discretionary Ban
  • 3 Penalty Points
  • £100 fine

Officers tend to change tack because something you say in your defence makes the officer uncertain that they will be able to prove the offence that you were actually using your mobile phone while driving.

For example if you asked the officer to look at your call log which shows you were not using your phone at the moment you were seen and stopped.

Officers then tend to change tack and accuse you of fiddling with the device rather than actually texting or calling from it.

In order to convict you at court the officer would have to prove that you were not in proper control (e.g. weaving) and that you did not have a full view of the road ahead (e.g. looking down at the buttons or screen).

We successfully defend lots of hand-held mobile phone while driving and texting related driving offence allegations.

Do you need advice about your alleged hand-held mobile phone related driving offence?

Please click below to ASK US A FREE QUESTION and find out how we can help you.