Using a phone while in the car passenger seat could land you a £200 fine and six points

Motorists could be in for a nasty surprise for using their mobile phone while sitting in the passenger seat of a car for making a simple mistake. Offending drivers could be handed a £200 fine and is penalty points while in the passenger seat in certain circumstances. The context of why is if they are conducting a driving lesson, according to information on If you are supervising a learner driver on a lesson then you are legally responsible for the car so can, therefore, land a fine for committing offences.

Therefore it is illegal for the instructor to touch their phone while sitting in the passenger seat.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said: “Supervising a learner actually puts you in the driving seat so legally you must treat it in the same way as if you were behind the wheel.

“Learning to drive is stressful enough without a passenger beside you who is more worried about posting than parking.”

Mobile phone driving laws were introduced in December 2003 which saw motorists handed a £60 fine for an offence before rising to £100 in 2013.

Fine increased to £100 and penalty points endorsements doubled in 2017, to act as a further deterrent.

Drivers could face a maximum fine of up to £1,000 of a phone driving law offence.

The law still applies to you if you’re stopped at traffic lights and queuing in traffic. 

To be able to use a phone while driving it must be mounted to a hands-free device and not touched while on the road.

Hands-free devices include:

  • a bluetooth headset
  • voice command
  • a dashboard holder or mat
  • a windscreen mount
  • a built-in sat nav

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