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Distractions

Distractions

Distracted driving makes you slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, meaning you are more at risk of being involved in a collision. One of the most dangerous distractions is using a mobile phone, for example to text, check social media or call somebody.

In 2018, distracted driving accounted for over 30% of all collisions involving killed or seriously injured in Greater Manchester.

The law

It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device that must be held at some point, while driving, riding a motorbike, or supervising a learner.

This includes when you're stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

Using a hands-free device is not illegal. But if it affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted.

If you're an employer, you can be prosecuted if you ask employees to make or receive calls while driving.

The penalties

If you break the law you can expect six points on your driving licence and a £200 fine.

But in certain circumstances your case may go to court. You could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a fine of up to £1,000.

If you're a driver of a bus or goods vehicle, you could get a fine of up to £2,500.

If you reach six or more penalty points within two years of passing your test, you'll lose your licence. You’ll need to re-sit your driving test to get your licence back.

If you need to drive for work, you could end up losing your job.

The advice

Hazards can arise at any time, so it’s important to stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.

To avoid temptation, keep your phone out of reach. If you do need to use it, find a safe and legal place to stop.

Read government advice about mobile phones.