What Does "Using A Mobile Phone While Driving" Really Mean?
To be guilty of this offence, you have to actually be holding the mobile phone while using it to communicate. You will be guilty of this offence if you use the phone to speak to someone, or to send or receive text messages, images, emails or if you are using it to access the internet. Even if you were in fact using a personal computer or a tablet, rather than a phone, to communicate or access the internet while driving you can be found guilty of this offence.
It should be noted that employers can be prosecuted for this offence if they are found to be allowing/requiring drivers to answer their mobile phones while driving.
Also, if you are supervising a provisional licence holder while using a mobile phone you can be found guilty of this offence.
Defences In Relation To Using A Mobile Phone While Driving
Philip Hatvany is a leading driving offence solicitor. He has won 82% of his trials concerning alleged motoring offences over the last 10 years. At Speeding Law Solicitors we are experts at identifying potential defences concerning using a mobile phone while driving.
Some examples of these defences are as follows
- The vehicle was stationary and the engine was turned off at the time the mobile phone was being used. (However, if the engine was still running, for instance, while you were in a traffic jam, this defence would not work.)
- The phone was not being used to communicate, for example, you were just using your phone to look at photos or to use the calculator function etc.
- You were phoning the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency service on 112 or 999.
- You were using your mobile phone in response to a genuine emergency and it was unsafe or impracticable for you to pull over to make the call.
- You were not actually holding the mobile phone, for example, you were using a hands free device.
The most typical scenario where the allegation of using a mobile phone whilst driving arises is where a police officer says he saw you driving using your phone. Philip Hatvany, our specialist solicitor, has often successfully defended such cases where his clients have stated they were not in fact using their mobile phones. In such a case, Mr Hatvany will cross-examine the officer at trial rigorously asking him how he can have been sure of what he saw, etc. Also, frequently, Mr Hatvany will obtain documentation from the phone company concerned to show that no call was made or received on the mobile phone in question at the relevant time. To be found guilty of this offence at trial, the prosecution have to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. This means that if the magistrates are not sure that you committed the offence then they have to find you not guilty.
Other Possible Offences
Sometimes if the police or prosecution feel that they may not be able to win at trial concerning an allegation of using a mobile phone while driving, they may opt for another offence instead such as not being in proper control of a motor vehicle. Here you would tend to be accused of fiddling with the phone rather than using it to speak to someone or text them. The prosecution would have to prove that you were not in proper control of your vehicle, for example, you were swerving on the road. Such an offence carries 3 penalty points, or a driving disqualification for as long as the magistrates see fit.
In order to be found guilty of using a mobile phone, your driving doesn’t have to be at fault. If your driving is at fault, for example, you cause an accident, then you may be pursued for the more serious offences of careless driving or dangerous driving.
Why You Should Use Speeding Law Solicitors
We are specialists at dealing with matters of this type. Philip Hatvany, our leading motoring law solicitor, has vast experience and often attends Southampton, Portsmouth, Reading, Oxford, Coventry, Birmingham, Bristol, Bath and Cardiff Magistrates' Courts. He also visits Magistrates Courts in London on numerous occasions. If your case is further away, then we can use one of our skilled barristers from our select pool, who are located throughout England and Wales, to provide representation at the hearing. They will act under the close supervision of Mr Hatvany who will have fully prepared your case. Don’t allow your matter to be dealt with by an inexperienced lawyer, instead call Mr Philip Hatvany now for a FREE telephone consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.