CAN I USE SAT NAV ON MY PHONE WHILST DRIVING?
We get a lot of calls from people who have been charged with using their mobile phone at the wheel, but cant understand why as they weren’t texting or on a call at the time.
“But I was just using my sat nav!”
is a common thing we hear from callers asking for advice.
“But I wasn’t even using the phone I was just holding it!”
It is against the law to hold a phone or sat nav while driving or riding a motorcycle. It isn’t illegal to have a phone in the car with you, on the seat beside you, in the glove box or in your pocket or handbag. But the minute you touch the phone you have committed an offence. If you are reported for the offence of using a mobile phone this will mean 6 points on your licence and a fine of at least £200 and up to £1000. If you already have 6 or more points on your licence you will also face a disqualification of 6 months under the totting up procedures or if you are have been driving less than 2 years you face having your licence revoked meaning you would have to retake both parts of your driving test.
So how can you use sat nav on your phone without committing an offence?
You have to have the phone in a proper cradle or holder, and it mustn’t be blocking any part of your view of the road and traffic ahead.
You have to have programmed the sat nav with the destination details before starting your journey and you must not touch the screen whilst driving. If you do – and you are caught – you will be prosecuted.
In order to use your phone safely in the car, you must have hands-free access, such as:
- a bluetooth headset
- voice command
- a dashboard holder or mat
- a windscreen mount
You must remain in full control of your vehicle at all times. The Police can stop you if they think you’re not in control of your vehicle because you’re distracted and you can be prosecuted. As well as the risk of being prosecuted for using a mobile you could be charged with an alternate offence of due care and attention if the Police think you are not in proper control, and this can result in 3 points and £100 fine (more if your case goes to Court).
The law still applies to you if you’re:
- stopped at traffic lights
- queuing in traffic
- supervising a learner driver
When you can use a hand-held phone
You can use a hand-held phone if either of these apply:
- you’re safely parked with the engine turned off
- you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
Don’t get caught out – stick to the rules on mobile phone use in the car. And also remember that we have had cases recently where the client was not seen by the Police in person but was caught on a traffic camera so be aware!
If you need help with this further, call our expert team on 01623 397200.