New Mobile & Smart Phone Driving Laws 2019

04th Nov 2019

New rules for smartphone usage while driving have been introduced in the UK. It means that drivers who hold their phone cannot escape through a loophole which prevented offenders being prosecuted for things like taking a selfie or filming.

Currently, the law only covers people who call or send a text message while behind the wheel. This is set to be updated in Spring 2020 in order to "bring the law into the 21st Century".

Illegal use of a smartphone while driving

Taking a Selfie

The updated legislation means you can now be prosecuted for the following smartphone actions while behind the wheel of a car.

  • Making a phone call
  • Sending a text message (including WhatsApp messaging and emails)
  • Browsing the internet (including social media)
  • Taking photos
  • Filming
  • Scrolling through a playlist

It's also a criminal offence to use a mobile phone while driving without being connected to a hands-free device.

Drivers who break any of the above rules could be hit with a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on their licence - meaning young drivers could lose their licence if caught just once.

The risks of smartphone usage

The laws are now much clearer - you cannot use social media, browse the internet or take a selfie while driving.

Our previous study clearly demonstrates the risk of using a mobile phone while driving, as even taking your eyes off the road for just three seconds in order to check a text message will mean that you've travelled 54 metres (177 feet), or more than three standard bowling lanes.

Taking a selfie is even more fraught with danger - do that at 60 mph and you'll have driven the length of more than six Olympic swimming pools without looking where you're going.

Read Smartphone Driving Distractions Visualised for further information.