It is a police officer’s responsibility to protect and serve the community which often includes keeping a close eye on drivers to ensure that they are focused on the roads without the distraction of their smartphones.
Whilst it may be tempting to quickly check your notifications when you are driving, this is completely illegal and should be avoided at all costs – and for good reason.
Often called to the scenes of horrific car accidents, it is extremely important that you know the dangers involved in using your phone whilst driving. Not only are you placing yourself in danger, but you are also endangering the safety of others.
Drivers using their phones could face six points and an additional fine. If you are a repeat offender, the consequences you could face aren’t to be taken lightly as multiple points could affect your ability to work if you require access to a car.
Read on to discover how a police officer can catch you using your phone whilst driving.
How police catch you on your phone
A police officer can catch you on your phone through various methods including the obvious – seeing you in plain sight. Additionally, you could be caught via dashcam footage should someone else choose to report you.
If you are distracted on your phone whilst driving, you probably aren’t focused on what is going around you. As a result, you could be caught in plain sight as you most likely won’t be anticipating the police officer who is quickly approaching you.
If you have been careless or distracted, another driver’s journey may have been compromised. And with the popular rise of dashcams in the UK, they could choose to report you and send in hard evidence to their local police department.
In a digitally-led world, it may be tempting to innocently check your phone, however, we advise you to think twice before doing so. Extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening, using your phone whilst driving should be strictly off-limits.
The use of cameras
At present, a police camera can catch you using your phone whilst driving.
Don’t let that tempt you, though – with new ground-breaking technology on the rise, there are now new methods being rolled out to carefully assess road users.
In October 2022, the police force in Devon and Cornwall commenced a trial camera system which cleverly utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to catch drivers using their phones when behind the wheel.
This innovative technology will also detect both your speed and whether you are wearing a seat belt or not.
Designed to deter drivers from distractions, the cameras are hoped to put an end to serious and fatal car accidents.
Motorway cameras cannot detect use of a mobile phone for multiple reasons.
Designed to assess a driver’s speed, unfortunately motorway cameras are not useful in catching drivers using their phones due to the speed of the car.
What happens if you are caught on your phone while driving
Using your phone while driving is a serious offence and drivers who are caught could face six points against their licence along with a £200 fine. If you have only passed your driving test within two years of being caught, your licence could be revoked completely.
For repeated offences, a driver could accumulate twelve points and as a result, lose their licence altogether. Not only could this cause struggles in your home life, but you could also lose your job if it requires use of a vehicle.
Additionally, offenders can also be taken to court where they could receive a fine of up to £1,000 or up to £2,500 for lorry and bus drivers.
With this information, we hope you will think twice before answering your phone behind the wheel!
Police use of evidence
As we’ve previously mentioned, a driver caught using their phone behind the wheel could face being taken to court. While this could result in losing your licence completely and a hefty fine, you can only be reprimanded if there is evidence of the offence.
Evidence includes video footage, statements from an officer who has caught you, and records of any incoming or outgoing calls made during the time the event occurred.
It’s important to note that while you are not allowed to use your phone, you are protected from legislation that allows you to use a hands-free kit while driving. This means that you can answer incoming calls through your car’s system – just remember not to hold or touch your device!