HC Deb 23 October 2001 vol 373 cc194-5W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on motoring offences and the use of hand-held mobile phones. [8588]

Mr. Jamieson

[holding answer 18 October 2001]: As the Highway Code makes clear, drivers should never use hand-held mobile phones while driving. Using a hands-free phone is also distracting and drivers should always find a safe place to stop when using any type of phone. Drivers who use phones irresponsibly may be prosecuted for failing to have proper control of their vehicle. This offence carries a maximum fine of £2,500. It can also be an offence for employers to require employees to use mobile phones while driving.

Drivers may also be prosecuted for careless or inconsiderate driving or even dangerous driving. The penalties for these offences include endorsement and possible disqualification from driving. We therefore share the view of the police that current legislation provides sufficient powers to prosecute drivers who use mobile phones or any other in-vehicle devices, or carry out other activities that may distract their attention from the road. However, as stated in the Road Safety Strategy "Tomorrow's roads—safer for everyone", the Government will keep under review the need for new legislation.

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