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Driving laws are changing in England but what can and can’t you do behind the wheel?

As of March 2017, anyone caught using their mobile phone (unless hands-free) while driving will receive a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on their licence.

Previously the fine was £100 and 3 points.

Motorists caught twice, accruing 12 points in the process, they will automatically appear in court and face a fine of £1,000 and a driving ban of at least 6 months.

You can still use your hands-free kit but you still can’t press a button on your phone to answer a call while driving, and if the police think you are not in control of your car while you’re using a hands-free device, you could face a fine and penalty points on your licence. If you are using your phone as a Sat -Nav the same rules apply, don’t touch it while you are driving. If it can be proved to be distracting you, it could lead to a careless or dangerous driving charge. However you are allowed to change radio stations while at the wheel, but again, if it does distract you and cause you to demonstrate careless driving, then you could be prosecuted.

Now the question of eating whilst driving!

Remember the case of the woman eating a apple whilst driving and the woman fined for eating a banana last year .There is no law barring you from eating or drinking soft drinks while driving, however you can be prosecuted for careless driving if the police think you are distracted while behind the wheel.

It’s the same as eating. It’s not illegal to smoke while driving, but it can be factored into a careless driving charge. But remember, you can’t smoke in a car if anyone in the vehicle is aged under 18.

If you have been issued with a fixed penalty notice and require the advice and assistance of a solicitor, call us for a FREE consultation 0191 262 5133 or email us at

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