From today, Friday 25th March, drivers can now be fined up to £1,000 and receive six points on their licence for simply holding a phone whilst in a moving car.
The law has changed meaning, not only are you not permitted to text or make a call, but now, it is illegal to scroll through playlists or taking pictures, videos or use apps on a handheld device.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government was taking a “zero-tolerance approach”.
Devices, such as sat navs can still be used while driving if secured in a cradle, but only if they are entirely hands free, ie voice activated. The exception to this rule is that phones can be held at a drive through to make payment if the car is stationary and in neutral. Additionally, emergency 999 calls are permitted.
It means, you should not pick up your phone, even if it’s off or you want to reject a call, if driving.
The law change, which does not apply in Northern Ireland, is an extension of an existing offence which includes making phone calls or sending text messages.