Mobile Phone Driving Offences
Since the mid 2000’s it’s been an offence to use a mobile phone while driving, but this hasn’t dissuaded many drivers from continuing to use their phones on the move.
The law actually says it is an offence to use a mobile phone for telecommunications purposes while driving. This means that to be guilty, you must be transmitting or receiving data whilst holding the device in your hand while driving. Driving can be defined as having the engine running for the majority of offences of this type, so even if you are stationary in a layby for example, if your engine is still running you can be considered to be guilty of the offence.
Instances like these are nitpicking for many police officers, who seem in many instances to take too much pleasure from catching drivers who are trying to do the right thing by stopping, but are guilty on a technicality.
Defending Mobile Phone Offences
Many mobile phone offences are defendable because a police officer believed that you were on your phone. Many times, if you weren’t using the phone for telecommunications at the time and can demonstrate via your phone statement that you weren’t on the phone then you have a valid defence.
The majority of police officers don’t take the time to check your phone at the time you are stopped. Technically they should gather evidence that is available at the time of the offence, whether that evidence supports the prosecution or not, but many fail to do so.
This gives you an opportunity to defend the allegations.
Lots of drivers use their phones for GPS, as a sat nav or as a music player, which is technically legal, except that you still run the risk of being prosecuted for driving without due care if you have something in your hands. Many cases see prosecutions switch to due case if they can’t prove mobile phone use, so use a hands free holder whenever possible.