Distractions

Distracted driving makes you slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, meaning you are more at risk of being involved in a collision. One of the most dangerous distractions is using a mobile phone, for example to text, check social media or call somebody.

In 2018, distracted driving accounted for over 30% of all collisions involving killed or seriously injured in Greater Manchester.

The Law

  • It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device that must be held at some point, while driving, riding a motorbike, or supervising a learner.
  • This includes when you're stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • Using a hands-free device is not illegal. But if it affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted.
  • If you're an employer, you can be prosecuted if you ask employees to make or receive calls while driving.

The Penalties

  • If you break the law you can expect six points on your driving licence and a £200 fine.
  • But in certain circumstances your case may go to court. You could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a fine of up to £1,000.
  • If you're a driver of a bus or goods vehicle, you could get a fine of up to £2,500.
  • If you reach six or more penalty points within two years of passing your test, you'll lose your licence. You’ll need to re-sit your driving test to get your licence back.
  • If you need to drive for work, you could end up losing your job.

The Advice

  • Hazards can arise at any time, so it’s important to stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.
  • To avoid temptation, keep your phone out of reach. If you do need to use it, find a safe and legal place to stop.

Government advice about mobile phones (Think!, opens in new window)