Motorists in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland were given a timely reminder today of new mobile phone laws which will come into force within a few weeks.
It’s already against the law to text or make a phone call while driving with a portable device, unless it’s an emergency.
Now the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Road Safety Partnership (LLRRSP) is warning drivers about the new rules, which prohibit drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, play games or scroll through music playlists.
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Jonathan Clarkson, spokesman for the partnership, said: “We know that using a mobile phone while driving is extremely dangerous and endangers not only the driver but other road users as well.
“The updated law now removes any doubt if you hold a phone while driving, and that includes if you are stopped at traffic lights or in a queue, you can be prosecuted.”
“We want to make sure every driver gets the message: Any activity while driving with a mobile phone is a potentially fatal distraction.
“If you’re tempted to pick up the phone while traveling, please think again.
“Act responsibly and do not risk your own life or that of another by selfishly using a mobile phone while driving.”
The updated law goes into effect on Saturday, March 25.
It’s one of several changes to driving laws this year, including an update to the Highway Code.
The partnership shared these handy tips and reminders about cell phones and driving:
- You may use a mobile phone when parked safely, with the engine off and the handbrake on
- Please do not pick up your phone in other driving situations, even when you are at a traffic light or in a traffic jam
- The only exception to this is where there is an emergency and it would be unsafe or impractical to stop. In this case you can call 999
- Don’t assume that using a speakerphone means you’ve taken the risk. You are still distracted from the task of driving safely and you could still be prosecuted for not being in control (an offense carrying a £100 fine and three penalty points).
- Before a ride, take a few minutes to make important calls or check voicemails and emails. Collaborate with friends, family, coworkers, and work contacts to remove the expectation that we should all be available at all times
- Schedule trips to include driving breaks where you can call, text, email, or interact with social media in a safe environment
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