Driving Whilst Using A Mobile
It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone whilst you are driving a motor vehicle. Many people don’t realise that this applies even when the vehicle isn’t moving; if you use your mobile phone whilst stationary at traffic lights with the handbrake on, you are still committing the offence; but if you were parked at the side of the road at the time, you might have a defence.
Another common myth is that you can only be guilty if you were actually talking on the phone. If you read or send a text message whilst behind the wheel, or listen to a voice message, or use an app, you can still be convicted of the offence. You can even be convicted simply for picking up the mobile in your hand to look at the screen.
Anybody caught using their mobile phone whilst driving is automatically given 3 penalty points. If you are approaching 12 points on your licence, the consequences of this could be disastrous.
If you deny the offence, we can put our trial expertise to use on your behalf, challenging the evidence presented by the police. If you admit using your phone whilst driving, there might be special reasons in your case why the magistrates should not impose the penalty points. If so, we can argue your case before the magistrates so you stand the best chance of avoiding the points.
Driverless cars were once the preserve of science-fiction films, but from January 2015 they will be a reality on the UK roads. But what about the law that currently governs road users? How will they apply to driverless cars being used on public roads?
Just because a car can be driven autonomously, this won’t mean that drivers are released from all of their obligations. The term ‘driverless vehicle’ covers all sorts of functions that already exist on many cars already – such as cruise control, automatic braking and self-parking functions.
However, the government recognises that driverless vehicles have implications for the laws and regulations governing public roads. That’s why they are currently reviewing the legal and insurance issues surrounding driverless cars. The results of this review and the regulatory changes required will be announced at the end of the year, so if you’re thinking of getting a driverless car for Christmas, make sure you also get the low down on what new laws will govern you.
There is no doubt that whilst the technological hurdles surrounding driverless cars have been overcome, the legal hurdles are yet to come! So watch this space for details.
The Direct Gov website has more detailed information on what the penalties are and when it is considered safe to use your phone.