Tougher law introduced for mobile phone use in cars: New rules explained

25 March 2022, 10:54 | Updated: 25 March 2022, 12:03

Driving and using your mobile phones
Driving and using your mobile phones is now illegal under all circumstances. Picture: Getty

By Zoe Adams

Mobile phone car law changes have been made making it illegal for motorists to handle their devices under any circumstances, closing a previous rule loophole.

As of March 25, 2022, drivers will be officially breaking the law if they use their mobile phones for any purpose while driving.

The government has officially closed a loop hole from the previous law which allowed taking photos, videos, scrolling through playlists and playing games as drivers could claim they were not using their phones for "interactive communication".

Not only has the government officially changed the law, they have also implemented new fines and charges should anyone be caught on their devices in a car.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said: "I will do everything in my power to keep road users safe, which is why I'm taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who decide to risk lives by using their phone behind the wheel.”

“I’m ensuring anyone who chooses to break this vital law can face punishment for doing so, and we will continue our efforts to ensure our roads remain among the safest in the world.”

Related article: What is fuel duty and what difference will a 5p cut make to costs?

Related article: Why is petrol so expensive? And when will fuel costs go down?

So what is the new law on mobile phone use in cars? What are the fines and charges? And can you still use hands-free while driving? Here's everything you need to know:

What is the new law on mobile phone use in cars?

As of March 25, 2022, all use of mobile phones while driving is banned. This means no handheld phone calls, no taking photos or videos, no scrolling, including playlists, and no playing games.

New rules had to be brought in place as motorists could previously use the loop hole of not using their phone for "interactive communication".

Can you still use hands-free while driving?

The only uses of your mobile phone that's permitted is the use of a device 'hands-free', as long as it's secured in a cradle which allows you to use the sat-nav function.

However, drivers can still be charged if police find them to not be in proper charge of their vehicle.

Drivers can also use their phones to make contactless payments as long as their vehicle is stationary.

What are the fines and penalties for driving with your mobile phone?

Fines and charges have increased for anyone caught driving while using their mobile phone.

Motorists could face a fines from £200 up to £1,000 as well as six points on their licence. A full driving ban could also be implemented.