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High Court Clarifies Law on Using Phone Whilst Driving


Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 2 Aug 2019

pocketgpsworld.com
On 31 July the High Court handed down a judgment which clarifies the law on the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

The judgment states that it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the phone was being used for an 'interactive telecommunication function' at the time of the alleged offence.

Previously any interaction with your phone whilst driving was deemed an offence and the law has been slow to catch up to the numerous other purposes for which we use smartphones these days. Now there is a clear distinction between using the features of a smartphone such as navigation and music and the telephony features.

There is still the catch-all legislation of driving without due care, so this this is not a green light to drive one handed whilst holding your phone in the other and looking at a map. A good car mount should still be considered an essential but it does at least now mean we can use the SatNav and music functions and interact with them without fear of a fine so long as common sense is applied.

Source: pattersonlaw.com



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Comments
Posted by philmay on Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:11 am Reply with quote

The majority of smartphones now use voice recognition (e.g. SIRI etc.), surely there is no reason to actually have to touch your phone, especially where music choice is concerned. And as for using SatNav, the same common-sense rules apply as with using a dedicated SatNav unit. i.e. Set your route BEFORE you drive off, not whilst actually driving.


 
Posted by K13ehr on Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:57 am Reply with quote

Thanks, I've passed the link onto members of my own forum.

Kev.


Kev.
If things don't change, they'll stay the same...
Ive tried gardening, yoga, meditation and medication and yet I still want to slap someone sometimes..

Visit my MoHo forum, motorhomeowners.org free.

 
Posted by MaFt on Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:04 am Reply with quote

philmay Wrote:
The majority of smartphones now use voice recognition (e.g. SIRI etc.), surely there is no reason to actually have to touch your phone, especially where music choice is concerned. And as for using SatNav, the same common-sense rules apply as with using a dedicated SatNav unit. i.e. Set your route BEFORE you drive off, not whilst actually driving.


A lot of cars have voice commands too! My 5 year old Focus has...

But yes, I agree, most commands can be done by voice.


 
Posted by K13ehr on Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:08 am Reply with quote

My car doesn't understand me Sad Sad Sad Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed


Kev.
If things don't change, they'll stay the same...
Ive tried gardening, yoga, meditation and medication and yet I still want to slap someone sometimes..

Visit my MoHo forum, motorhomeowners.org free.

 
Posted by b33jay on Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:14 pm Reply with quote

Which makes my g-d 'caught' touching a mounted smart phone to change music channel and getting 200 + 6 points at 8.15 am on the day the higher penalty came in a bit miffed.


 
Posted by sussamb on Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:30 pm Reply with quote

If it was mounted then she must have done more than touch it, the law applies to handheld phones, not those mounted in holders Wink

https://www.gov.uk/using-mobile-phones-when-driving-the-law


Where there's a will ... there's a way.

 
Posted by Graculus on Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:31 pm Reply with quote

There is still a lot (almost everything these days) that includes an 'interactive telecommunication function'.

Sat-Nav such as Google Maps is constantly interacting with Google for traffic, map updates, route planning. Even "self-contained" sat nav apps like TomTom are constantly communicating back to base.

Unless you are playing music loaded onto your phone, Spotify, etc. are communicating across a network.

Even with photos, if you have set up your phone to synchronise photos/videos back to Google/Microsoft/Apple/whoever, that could be classed as an 'interactive telecommunication function'.

And then there is the legislation about not being able to see a video screen from the driver's position unless it's specifically driving related (e.g. reversing camera), so watching pre-loaded movies is still very much OUT. Could this include the phone's screen showing the (live) video being shot?

As for the person who thinks they "got off", I hope the police now prosecute for not being in proper control.


 
Posted by Kremmen on Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:26 pm Reply with quote

Whilst it's not dangerous as such, I see so many vehicles not moving off when traffic lights go green because the driver is fiddling with a phone, both in a holder or being handheld.

Some drivers may only be doing something SatNav related or similar but it's this delay that probably attracts the attention of police.


Satnav:
Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
DashCam:
Viofo A119 V3

 
Posted by DennisN on Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:26 pm Reply with quote

Is Bluetooth an 'interactive telecommunication function'? Twisted Evil


Dennis

If it tastes good - it's fattening.

Two of them are obesiting!!

 
Posted by M8TJT on Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:32 pm Reply with quote

No it's a wireless communication technology and perfectly OK as long as you don't hold it in your hand.


 
Posted by b33jay on Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:37 am Reply with quote

sussamb Wrote:
If it was mounted then she must have done more than touch it, the law applies to handheld phones, not those mounted in holders Wink

https://www.gov.uk/using-mobile-phones-when-driving-the-law



She is (and was at the time) well aware of the law and does not use her phone in her hand whilst driving and, although her car has BT hands free, she doesn't make or answer calls whilst on the move. Her phone is clamped in the mount and not easily removed with one hand.

Unfortunately, she was the victim of a myopic constable and contesting the charge can be much more expensive than accepting the penalty. Sad


 
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