From today, people driving and using their phones for any activity will be breaking the law. Reckless drivers could face a fine of up to £1,000, 6 points on their licence or a full ban.
“I will do everything in my power to keep road-users safe”, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps proudly announced. The new measures, which most people probably thought already existed, have been in place for most other jurisdictions. Many European countries had banned the use of phones behind the wheel since the 1990s.
All the while, many British drivers were able to exploit the “interactive communication loophole”: only things like actively making a call were considered illegal. Our previous laws belonged to the vintage era of Nokia phones, when making a TikTok or shooting the sunset-on-the-road Instagram story while driving wasn’t a thing.
Let’s hope the new law really brings more safety to our roads, rather than just an easy win-win press release for Shapps.