Use of Mobiles in Cars

The news is full of stories about people being prosecuted for using their mobile phones whilst driving.  Jimmy Carr managed to escape a fine, when it was proved he was using his phone to record jokes!  So just what is the legislation surrounding the use of mobile phones in cars?

Adrian Roberts, partner and head of the Criminal Team, says “the legislation is designed to stop people using mobile phones to communicate with one another, whilst driving a vehicle.  This includes both by voice or text.”

But it would seem some eager police are trying to prosecute individuals who may not be breaking the law.  Not only was the case against Jimmy Carr thrown out, but we understand a local court decided that to glance at your phone to see who’s sent you a message – providing you haven’t had to use the keypad to unlock your device – may also be quite legal.  Of course you can’t actually read the message, but some phones have alerts that repeatedly sound, and this court accepted that the user was just looking at the screen in order to cancel the alert.

No doubt we are going to see this area of legislation develop.  If the purpose of the legislation was to stop texting or talking to another, then what about browsing the internet and the host of other things most of us can use our phones for?  These days mobile devices offer numerous applications from games, to GPS and satellite navigation facilities, not to mention the ability to play music.  Where do we stand in relation to using these whilst on the move in our cars?  No doubt time will tell!