Drivers warned not to use mobile phones at traffic lights in police crackdown

Will Metcalfe
Contributor
Drivers have been given a fresh warning over using their mobile phones at traffic lights. Stock image.

Drivers have been warned not to use their mobile phones at traffic lights.

City of London Police issued the warning on Twitter as part of the force’s mobile phone enforcement week.

Using a mobile phone in a running vehicle was outlawed in 2003 and by 2007 anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving was slapped with three-points on their licence and a £60 fine.

In 2013 this was increased to a £100 fine and from March 1 2017 it was increased to six-points and a £200 fine.

London traffic.

But this doesn’t just apply to when you’ve actively driving - you can be hit with a fine at traffic lights, in a car park, or in stationary traffic.

A from City of London Police said: “It's mobile phone enforcement this week. With all the pedestrians, cyclists and others using the roads, you don't need another distraction. Plus 6 points and £200 fine? Can you afford it for the sake of a phone call?”

But the law does seem to confuse drivers.

According to the RAC Report on Motoring 2016, a staggering 47% of drivers said they think it’s OK to check social media or text messages while stopped in traffic.

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The RAC said: “Contrary to what many drivers seem to think, the law still applies when your vehicle is stopped at lights or in a traffic queue.

“If your engine is running, your phone should be nowhere near your hands.

“This is still the case if the engine stops automatically to save fuel (called 'start-stop technology).

“Using hands-free phone kits is currently legal in the UK, although police still have the right to penalise any hands-free user they think is being distracted and isn’t in control of their vehicle.”