Driving While Using a Mobile Phone | Motoring Offence

In today’s world it is almost unheard of for somebody not to own a mobile phone and this includes motorists. Whilst everyone is probably aware that a hands-free kit is required to legally drive whilst using their phone, there are still those that do not. There are also those that do not realise that not actually using the device whilst driving can still lead to charges being brought.

Using a hand held mobile telephone whilst driving attracts a penalty of 6 points on your licence in addition to a fine. The same applies when using any communication device such as Satellite Navigation or Blackberry’s.

The Offence Itself

A motorist can be charged with this offence even if they are sat in stationary traffic and a passenger could also be charged if they were using their telephone whilst supervising a learner driver. Employers may find themselves prosecuted for permitting this offence where they require employees to use or answer phones whilst driving.

The offence will be committed even if the standard of your driving remains unaffected. However, it is possible to prosecute a motorist for dangerous or careless driving where poor driving results or where proper control of the vehicle is not maintained.

Often the case against you will be based on a police officer’s account on what he saw, or thought he saw. It is possible to challenge this at trial by testing their evidence. Expert cross examination is essential here.

Possible Defences?

Due to the legislation and the seriousness with which Magistrates usually treat these offences (often a zero tolerance approach), the main route of defence is if we are able to convince the court that you were not actually using the device.

With supporting evidence such as telephone records and testimony from the driver, we have been able to convince the court previously that an offence has not been committed.

Pleading Guilty

If further penalty points would result in you accumulating 12 points or more on your licence, then you are at risk of a 6 month disqualification from driving, please see our section on “Totting Up” for further information or contact us to discuss the options in more detail.

If you are facing an allegation of driving whilst using a mobile phone contact us on 0808 168 0017

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