Though completely illegal, it’s still very common to see UK drivers using their mobile devices behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, claims transport correspondent Richard Westcott in a BBC article. The Department for Transport (DfT) wants this to change. How do they plan to do this, however? With the use of mobile phones and other devices behind the wheel being such a hot topic as of late, specialist Volkswagen dealer Inchcape Volkswagen is here to make sense of everything that has been in the headlines.
The DfT wants to implement software into vehicles that will disable the use of mobile devices behind the wheel. This software would disable any internet connection, and the connection to a telephone network. With the mobile devices in the car disabled, it would make it impossible for drivers to make calls, send text messages, send emails, check social medias, or read news articles behind the wheel of the car.
As mentioned before, it’s already illegal to do any of these activities behind the wheel of a moving car or on a motorcycle in the UK. This has been the case for many years. In fact, according to GOV.UK, the only exceptions to this rule are if you have to call 999 or 112 but it’s not safe or practical to stop the vehicle first, or if you’re stopped and parked safely when using your phone. The key word to that rule is ‘parked’, because it’s illegal to check your phone while in bumper to bumper traffic, or at a stoplight.
A failure to obey these laws could have you wind up receiving a fine of £100 and adding three penalty points to your licence. However, these rules are supposed to get stricter sometime in 2017. You could be looking at a fine of double that, and if you offend twice, you could wind up going to court over the case.
However, despite all this, it doesn’t look like many drivers are willing to change this illegal habit of theirs. According to a survey for RAC Report on Motoring 2016, 31% of drivers admitted to using their phone behind the wheel in the last year. 14% of people thought that it was acceptable to make a quick phone call behind the wheel. 20% of people thought it was okay to check their social medias behind the wheel. It’s no wonder the DfT wants to take action against using mobile devices behind the wheel.