High Court ruling highlights mobile phone legislation loophole

It may sound hard to believe but a recent High Court ruling has made clear that a motorist can be using their phone while they are driving, as long as it’s not for “interactive communication”. This is because current mobile phone rules were invented well before the advent of smart phones, so they assume that conversations and text messages are all that phones can really be used for.

Due care and attention

The specific court case related to someone taking photos of a car accident, but it would seem likely that it can apply to other things as well. In fact, it looks as though the only real limit at the moment is that motorists mustn’t be driving without due care and attention – and, of course, it mustn’t be dangerous driving.

Tougher penalties for mobile phone use

It’s a sobering thought and rules will probably need to change at some point, particularly as there is clearly demand for stricter regulations to restrict this sort of behaviour. For example, Fleet News reports that nearly 90% of motorists want tougher penalties for people who use their phone behind the wheel.

Lead by example

For fleet managers, it is another indication that robust and detailed policies are absolutely essential. This is supported by a recent study from Driving for Better Business (DfBB). It highlighted that nearly half of business leaders expect their staff to pick up calls while driving, but over half of drivers do not always take the calls they receive safely – and one in eight think they can use the motorway’s hard shoulder.

Get in touch

For ideas about how you can make your fleet policies more rigorous, robust and user-friendly, please get in touch with a member of our expert team.


Sources and further reading

Driving for Better Business (2019) ‘Grey Fleet Review’

URL: https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/resources/dfbb-publications/grey-fleet-review/

Fleet News (2019) ‘Give drivers caught using mobile phones tougher penalties’  06/06/2019

URL: https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2019/06/06/give-drivers-caught-using-mobile-phones-tougher-penalties-says-90-of-motorists







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