The government has confirmed it will close a legal loophole that allows drivers to escape prosecution for mobile phone offences.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he will tighten up the laws so that anyone behind the wheel filming or taking photographs on their mobile devices will be prosecuted.
Lawyers have successfully argued that these activities do not fit into the “interactive communication” currently outlawed by the legislation and as a result those caught doing so have escaped punishment.
The revised legislation will mean any driver caught texting, taking photos, browsing the internet or scrolling through a playlist will be prosecuted for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
The Department for Transport said the impacts of this behaviour are proven – if a driver looks at their phone for just two seconds when travelling at 30mph, whether to reply to a message or send a picture, they will travel 100 feet blind, drastically increasing the chance of accidents.
A review to tighten up the laws will be taken forward with further proposals expected to be in place by next Spring - making the offence clearer for drivers and police forces.
Shapps said: “Drivers who use a hand-held mobile phone are hindering their ability to spot hazards and react in time – putting people’s lives at risk.”