Monday, June 19, 2006

Guilty of "Using a Hand Held While Driving".

There is a new criminal offence in the UK of "using a hand-held phone while driving."

There has been a law against using mobile phones while driving for some years now, so how does this one differ? In day to day layman terms there is no real difference except for the penalties. No longer do you have to go to court. The police can issue you with a fixed penalty notice of £30 on the spot fine, soon to rise to £60. If the matter goes to court the fine rises to £1,000 if it is a car. if it is a van, coach, mini bus, lorry or any other commercial vehicle it rises to £2,500.

There is another significant difference to the previous law and the key word for this new mobile phone driving law is "hand-held".

It is perfectly legal to use your mobile phone while driving if you do not have to "hold" the handset at any time throughout a call. This includes pressing a button to accept or decline the call. Something you still have to do with standard hands free kits.

Most mobile phones now come with Bluetooth as standard but how many actually use it? If you are put off because you do not wish to look like a puppet out of Captain Scarlet with a "space age" head set, you can breath easy.

With the Bluetooth Car Kit unit you do not have to wear any head set, you do NOT have to hold the handset at ANY time thoughout the call. You are always perfectly legal and driving safely.

To accept a call you simply press the button on the Bluetooth unit itself, not the handset. This simple difference will help you avoid heavy fines.

The message is simple, in order to avoid driving illegally, and avoid facing fines from £30 to £1000, drivers must stop using their mobile phone while driving. The alternative is to use a mobile phone acessory hands free unit that allows the driver to talk and drive without having to hold the mobile phone. Popular low cost hands free kits do not allow you to do this.

Why Bluetooth? Bluetooth is a short-range wireless connection. This means you do not have to physically connect your phone to the car - you simply have to be in the car or near the car. So the phone can still be in your pocket or bag while you drive and talk. Another benefit of having a Bluetooth car kit? You can change phones - use another Bluetooth phone and you can still use the same Bluetooth Car Kit. So you can see that to avoid being stopped by the police and given on the spot fines, you need to drive carefully and sensibily, and legally, with your own mobile phone Bluetooth Car Kit.

Click here for more in-depth details on the new car driving and mobile phone law from the BBC.

Mobile Phone and Driving: Frequently Asked Questions

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