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Mobile phone technicality

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So here’s one for any Traffic Officers on here, obviously all are aware on the law on handheld mobile phone usage, how would you handle this hands free situation?


Say you’re in a queue of traffic at a set of lights, someone in front of you has their phone in a cradle, removing the hand held element, If they were texting in stationary traffic by tapping away on the screen, would you be trying to prosecute them for being distracted? Or would the fact the phone is not hand held, and the fact they’re sat still so their driving can not fall below a standard mean you’d have to leave them to it?


Interested to know what your views are on this..


How would you go about proving they were suitably distracted, as the lights will be still in their range of vision, and they’ll not be sat there at a green light.



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I realise my previous reply may have been a little misleading. Here's an updated reply.
Phones shouldn't be used while driving at all. If they were parked, with their engine off, then it would be an issue.

If you hold a phone with one hand and type with the same hand; or
If you put your phone in a cradle and type with one hand;

One hand isn't free and  they'll always be "unable to concentrate [on their driving and on their awareness of their surrounding] because one is preoccupied by something" [EOLD]

One may only use their phone appropriately, such as in an emergency. Everything else can wait.

I hope this helps.

P.S "Hands-free" implies you don't need hands to operate such a device. In this situation, you state that they're using the phone with their hands. This means having it in a cradle does render it a hands-free solution to using your phone while driving.

Please do not take my posts as fact. They're merely gibberish, not to be taken seriously. There is no guarantee that this post was written and posted by the registered user.

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The official offence refers to ‘hand held mobile phone’ the cradle still removes the ‘handheld’ element thus removing the offence IIRC, tapping away at it is no different to messing with your heater controls or CD player as long as your driving doesn’t suffer because of it

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Just to clarify: This is a UK forum and thus, where not specified, you can assume all information is relevant to people in the UK.

If you don't understand this gov page then I highly doubt you'd be able to understand anyone offering guidance on here. I don't see anything about "handheld" anymore, only "using". Things change and get updated - and there won't be loopholes. It's simple: You may not use any internet enabled device. The police can check when you've used your phone and what you were doing on it via data checks.

This means;

  • You may not press any buttons while driving - this demonstrates distraction/loss of complete focus on controlling your vehicles, surroundings, driving, etc.
  • It's irrelevant whether you hold the phone or not, you are not in complete control of your vehicle when you use a finger/thumb to press buttons on your phone.

Do some research yourself. All informational websites and blogs will tell you that you aren't allowed to use your phone (regardless of handheld).
The biggest giveaway that you aren't allowed to drive using your mobile, even stationary: Your eyes are not on the road!

"Tapping away". That phrase especially shows distraction. A police officer may pull you over if he reasonably believes you arenot in full control of your vehicle BECAUSE you are distracted... It doesn't matter if you're at a stop, or whatever circumstances there may be, if you're distracted then you may get into trouble unless it's an emergency. Your phone not is a part of your vehicle. Unless you drive a Tesla.

If you fail to understand this then you may later - if you drive and get a ticket. ;)

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I fail to understand how you don’t see anything referring to handheld. If you read into it as you suggested I do you’d see this;

“Rule 149
You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop. Never use a hand-held microphone when driving. Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving or riding - find a safe place to stop first or use the voicemail facility and listen to messages later.” A clear reference to ‘hand held’ as long as it’s not hand held that specific offence is removed. It’s no longer a handheld phone and it’s more of a DWDC or careless driving over anything else. Do you see where I’m coming from here? I’m not referring to my self by the way. I do not agree with the use of mobile phones while driving, nothing is that important.

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A police officer may pull you over if he reasonably believes you are not in full control of your vehicle BECAUSE you are distracted.

You are distracted if you remove one hand from the steering wheel and start "TAPPING AWAY" at the screen with your eyes focusing on the phone.

"Tapping away" defeats the purpose of "hands-free". Clearly, a hand is not free if you're using it for the device.

Like holding, using a phone is equally as bad - where it is making or receiving a call, or performing any other interactive communication function whether with another person or not.


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