Mobile Phones for Small Businesses

Mobile Phones and Driving

Using any phone while driving affects concentration and could put you, your employees and other road users at risk.

Hand-held mobile devices

It is dangerous and illegal to use a hand held mobile phone or any similar device when driving.

The UK Department for Transport defines a hand-held mobile device as follows:

  • A device that “is or must be held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function”.
  • A device that can be used for sending or receiving spoken or written messages, sending or receiving still or moving images or providing internet access.

Research has shown:

  • Driver reaction time is up to 50% slower than normal when driving and using a mobile phone.
  • You are four times more likely to have a crash if you are using a mobile phone when driving.

If the police see you driving poorly whilst using a hand held mobile, you may be prosecuted for not having proper control of the vehicle. A roadside fixed penalty notice will set you back £60 in fine and you will receive 3 points on your licence. If there is an incident or a crash, the use of the phone could be justification for the charges of careless or dangerous driving. The penalties on conviction for such offences include heavy fines, endorsement, disqualification and, in serious cases, imprisonment. Courts are taking a serious view in such cases.

Hands-free mobile devices

The use of a hands-free phone or other equipment is not specifically prohibited, but if you drive poorly because you are distracted by a phone conversation, the police can prosecute for failing to have proper control of the vehicle. The same penalties apply as for hand-held phones.

Duty of employers

Employers must consider the risks associated with use of a phone by their employees while driving. Employers should not ask or expect their staff to make or receive calls while driving. As an employer you could be liable to prosecution if you require or allow your staff to use a mobile phone while driving for work.

For further information:

Check out the UK Department for Transport’s advice on

www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/advice/mobilephones.htm

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