Drivers are to be prohibited from using hand-held mobile phones for streaming music or taking pictures while behind the wheel under new measures being introduced by the Government.
The law change, due to come into force in 2022, is part of a series of road safety proposals being brought in by highways chiefs.
When is it illegal to use a phone while driving?
At the moment, drivers are banned from making phone calls or texting other than in an emergency while using a hand-held device.
However, from next year motorists will also not be allowed to take photos, videos, scroll through playlists of play games on their phones while driving.
The penalty for anyone caught breaking the new regulations will be a £200 fixed penalty notice and six penalty points.
Drivers will still be able to continue using certain devices while driving, such as sat navs, if they are secured in a cradle but changing a song or playlist directly from a phone will be outlawed.
Is it illegal to use a smartphone to pay at a drive-thru?
Exemptions to the new law will include those motorists making a contactless payment with their phone while stationary but only in situations such as a drive-thru restaurant or at a toll road pay point where card readers are available.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users.”
The changes come after a consultation found that more than 80 per cent of respondents wanted such road safety improvements.
The Highway Code will also be revised to make it clear that being stationary in traffic counts as driving and hand-held mobile phone use at traffic lights or in motorway jams is illegal except in very limited circumstances.