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Driving and mobile phones

Some people are confused about the rules about using a mobile whilst driving, whilst others know the rules and break them. You might see other people driving with a phone to their ear but you must never do this - it is illegal.

To state it again, using a hand-held mobile whilst driving is totally illegal. Even if you are in a queue or haven't moved for ten minutes and so on, it is still illegal.

If you want to use a hand held mobile whilst you are in your car, then you cannot do it whilst driving. Instead you must move and park the car in a safe place where it is legal to stop, and only then may you use your mobile.

There is one common sense exception to the rule. That's when you need to make a 999 call in an emergency, and you are unable to stop as it is not safe or not practical to do so.

In terms of penalties, then you should consider the main risk is that it is dangerous to use a mobile whilst driving: we've all been in cars where there is an erratic driver speeding up and slowing down in front of you and that's generally due to them being on the mobile and having lapses of, and periods of, more attention.

But financially you can get fined £60 for using a mobile and have 3 penalty points against your license. The other downside is that your car insurance costs you will probably find goes up as a result of having points on your license.

Finally, your driving instructor is not allowed to use a hand-held mobile whilst they are teaching you; they must use a hands-free device.

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