Despite the introduction of a new law earlier this year designed to curtail mobile phone use while driving, the National Police Chiefs Council has just issued a fresh warning to motorists about using their mobiles as a sat nav.
While many of us are (hopefully) aware of the new law introduced in April that set out new stiffer penalties for those caught using their mobile at the wheel, it appears the rules surrounding mobile sat nav use haven’t been getting through.
Simply touching the mobile screen while on the move or sitting at traffic lights/caught in a queue could see you end up with a £200 fine (or up to a £1,000 if you end up in court) and six points on your licence.
Indeed, the latter could prove to be catastrophic for someone who has just passed their test and lead to a potential instant disqualification and a driving test resit. It’s a serious issue because research shows that almost four out of five drivers rely on sat navs or smartphones to navigate Britain’s roads.
If an officer determines that a driver using their sat nav hindered their ability to control the car, the driver could face prosecution.”
– Spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs Council
Top 8 Rules of Mobile Use for Drivers
To ensure you stay safe on the road (and don’t lose your licence), remember these eight crucial rules:
1. Only use a mobile when you are parked up safely – and that includes when entering a postcode into your map app – and no, the hard shoulder doesn’t count as ‘being parked safely’
2. The only exception is if you are in an emergency situation and need to dial 999 but are unable to pull up safely
3. Mobile use is banned for anyone who is supervising a learner driver; their attention should be on the learner’s driving at all times
4. Ensure your mobile is mounted correctly on your windscreen; if your mobile cradle is found to be obscuring the area swept by windscreen wipers, you could be prosecuted
5. Having the mobile in your lap or shoved in a cupholder doesn’t count as a proper cradle and you could find yourself being pulled over by the police
One in six (16%) of drivers admit to keeping their navigation devices behind the steering wheel, on the passenger seat or even next to the gear stick, risking serious penalties if they’re used while driving.”
6. If using Apple Pay or another form of mobile payment at, say, a fast-food drivethru, you must have your handbrake on and your engine turned off – or else you could still be prosecuted for mobile phone use while driving.
7. Don’t overly rely on sat navs period; according to research by uSwitch, one in 20 drivers have ended up with a speeding fine because their sat nav allegedly showed them the wrong speed limit
8. We wonder if the reason for the problem above is because drivers are using out-of-date software; install the latest updates for your sat nav so any speed limits or road information is current and correct.