Driving a vehicle is one of the most hazardous activities that many people carry out and it is important that drivers are able to concentrate on the task in hand. As such the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving has been prohibited in the UK for many years. However since the legislation was introduced, technology has progressed leading to the development of potential legal loopholes that could allow people to legally use mobile phones and similar devices at the wheel for purposes other than mobile communication e.g. taking photos, accessing the internet etc.
The government recently launched a consultation on proposals to tighten up the law on using hand-held devices while driving. It is proposed that new legislation will prohibit any use of a hand held mobile phone or similar device, with a specific exemption for making a contactless payment for immediate goods or services while stationary.
These changes would not affect the use of hands free devices.
The consultation runs until 17th January 2021. You can find full details of the proposals and respond to the consultation via the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/expanding-the-offence-of-using-a-hand-held-mobile-phone-while-driving-to-include-non-connected-mobile-application-actions
Where you have employees who drive, whether on the road or on site, as part of their work, it is important that you have suitable policies and procedures place. Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using email@example.com if you have any questions or would like assistance with developing a safe driving or occupational road risk policy.