A loophole that allows drivers to avoid the penalty of using a mobile phone while taking a photo or playing a game has been shut down.
The Department of Transportation is advising on updating the law so that just phone calls and text behind the wheel are not banned.
If a vehicle is stationary and goods or services are provided immediately, such as mobiles are provided for drive-through trivia, concessions will be made under the plan to allow the use of mobiles for non-communication payments.
Ministers have banned calls to go further by banning the use of hands-free functions – allowing drivers to safely drive “hands-free” devices while driving, such as a cradle-protected SAT-NAV.
Roads Minister Barnes Verry said: “Our roads are some of the safest in the world, but we want to make sure they are safer by bringing the law into the 21st century.
“That’s why we want to further strengthen the law to use a hand-held phone while driving illegally in a wide range of situations.
“It’s confusing and dangerous and for a very long time risky drivers have escaped punishment, but this update means those who do wrong will face the full force of the law.”
The change to the law will apply across the UK and is expected to take effect early next year, pending the outcome of the consultation.
In 2019, there were 637 road accidents in Britain – 18 killed and 135 seriously injured – in crashes where drivers using mobiles were a contributing factor.
Drivers who break the rules of using hand-held mobiles are punished with six penalty points and a 200 fine.