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New cell phone laws come into force next month: what you need to know

New cellphone laws come into effect for drivers next month.

Drivers will face stricter rules when using mobile phones while driving.

From March 25, manipulation of a phone or mobile device by touching the screen to play a game or scrolling through a music app will be prohibited under the new rules.

Here’s what you need to know:

What you will NOT be able to do while driving from March 25

  • illuminate the screen

  • check the time

  • verification of notifications

  • device unlock

  • make, receive or reject a phone or internet call

  • send, receive or upload oral or written content

  • send, receive or download a photo or video

  • using camera, video or sound recording functionality

  • write any text

  • access all stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, movies, playlists, notes or messages

  • access an application

  • access the internet

What is the penalty?

Drivers caught using their phone or other handheld mobile device for any of the above reasons face a £200 fine and six points on their license from March 25.

Are there exceptions?

The only exceptions are to make an emergency call when stopping is not possible and to make a contactless payment at the toll or drive-thru.

Can I still use my GPS?

Using a phone as a sat nav will still be allowed if it is secured in a holder and hands-free calling will also be allowed.

What did Dorset Police say?

Dorset Police Inspector Craig Tatton, of the circulation unit, said: ‘Nothing is more important than your safety and that of other road users and, even if you think you can get away with it, it is essential that drivers realize that they could kill someone a.

“You cannot use a phone to communicate in any way while driving and even if you use it legally you can still be prosecuted if it can be proven that you did not control your vehicle properly.”

What did the AA say?

Edmund King, AA President, said, “AA has long campaigned to toughen these rules, and we welcome this announcement.

“This is a much-needed update to the law to help make our roads safer. Cell phones provide many distractions and this sends a clear message that picking them up for use will not be tolerated.

“The law will also become stricter as the use of smartwatches, tablets and laptops while driving comes into force.

“Drivers will be extremely limited in when they can pick up their phone, mainly to call emergency services when there was no possibility of stopping safely and to make contactless payments while driving.

“Sitting in a traffic jam or waiting at a traffic light is no excuse, we want people to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.”

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