From March 25, it will become illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving under virtually any circumstance, following amendments to the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations.

Currently, the legislation around the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving is open to interpretation and has been difficult for the police to enforce.

The stricter regulations mean drivers are now more likely to receive a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence, if they are caught using a hand-held phone at the wheel. This means an instant ban for HGV drivers or for motorists that passed their test in the last two years.

HGV drivers also face a maximum fine of £2,500 for a mobile phone offence.

The tightening of the law has been welcomed by the road safety community, with research showing that a driver is four times more likely to be involved in a crash if they use a phone at the wheel.

Mobile phone technology developer and road safety advocate, Nick Evans, believes that the new law creates an even bigger concern for employers.

‘Companies now need to be more careful than ever about the way that they manage the use of mobile phones while their staff are driving. It is not enough to just tell people not to do something,’ he said.

‘If one of their vehicles or their drivers is involved in a collision as a result of being distracted by a mobile phone, it could have widespread negative implications.’

In 2020 alone, 17 people were killed, 114 people were seriously injured, and 385 were slightly injured on the UK’s roads in crashes involving drivers distracted by mobile phones.