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Rules and Penalties for Mobile Phone Use While Driving in the UK

Whilst smartphones may make it tempting to use mobile phones while driving, their dangers cannot be understated. Recognizing this risk, the United Kingdom has implemented stringent rules and penalties designed to discourage this behaviour behind the wheel. Breaking these might require the specialist advice of a motoring offence solicitor such as 1 Motoring. In this article we explore this regulation along with any associated fines for noncompliance.

The Law

In response to legislation under the Road Traffic Act 1988 aimed at prohibiting drivers from using hand-held mobile phones while driving, under penalty of law. Drivers using such handheld devices to make or receive calls, send or read text messages or access the internet while operating vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, bicycles and even horses will face prosecution under this statute.


There are certain exceptions to the ban on mobile phone usage while driving. Drivers may use handheld devices if they can safely secure it with a hands-free holder that does not require them to hold or manipulate it while driving; even in such instances, caution must be exercised and priority given to road safety over engaging with their devices.

Penalties for Mobile Phone Use While Driving

As per recent regulations, drivers caught using handheld devices while behind the wheel could face severe punishments as penalties to deter offenders and safeguard public safety are severe. Drivers caught using such handheld devices could face:

Fixed Penalty Notice

Offenders could face a fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of PS200 and six penalty points on their driving licence, which can significantly increase insurance premiums or lead to disqualification if 12 points or more accumulate within three years.

Court Prosecution

Drivers involved in more serious or repeated offences could be prosecuted in court and could face fines up to PS1,000 (PS2,500 in the case of goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles) as well as disqualification from driving.

Increased Penalties for Novice Drivers

Novice drivers with less than two years’ driving experience face even stricter penalties, including receiving a PS200 fine and six penalty points upon receiving their licence as well as being required to retake their driving test within two years of passing their exam if they accumulate six penalty points or more within that time.

Impact on Safety

The UK government’s penalties for using mobile phones while driving demonstrate their dedication to road safety. Distractions while driving are one of the leading causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities on UK roads; using mobile phones increases this risk by diverting drivers’ focus away from driving.

Educational Campaigns

The UK government and road safety organisations conduct educational campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers associated with using mobile phones while driving. These campaigns focus on staying focused on the road by limiting distractions and prioritising safety for all road users; additionally they promote penalties to discourage drivers from using their cell phones while driving.


In the UK, government regulation and enforcement measures provide clear rules and penalties regarding mobile phone usage while driving. Drivers engaging in such hazardous behaviour face stringent regulations which deter them and ensure public safety on roads. By adhering to these regulations and prioritising responsible driving habits when behind the wheel, motorists can help create safer roadways for all. Just a reminder: always put away your phone before starting up your engine!

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