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Switch it off before you drive off

Published: 22/09/2015

Flintshire County Council’s Road Safety Unit is supporting a campaign to raise awareness among motorists about the dangers involved when drivers break the law through phoning or texting at the wheel. Motorists are being reminded it’s illegal to use a handheld mobile phone when driving - whether making a phone call, following a map, reading a text message or checking social media. The law applies even when stopped at traffic lights, in a queue of traffic, or in a car park. A handheld phone can only be used if the vehicle is safely parked or to make an emergency 999 (or 112) call when it’s unsafe or impractical to stop. Offenders can get a fixed penalty notice, resulting in a £100 fine and 3 points on a licence. Those who get just 6 points in the first two years after passing their test, will lose their licence. The case could also go to court with potential disqualification from driving or riding and a maximum £1,000 fine. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500. A hands-free phone can be used while driving but motorists can still be prosecuted if they are not in control of their vehicle. The penalties are same as being caught using a handheld phone. The penalties for driving carelessly or dangerously when using a handheld or hands-free phone can include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment Flintshire County Councils Chief Officer for Streetscene Steve Jones said: This is an important campaign which could save lives. All Road Safety Wales partners are working together to tackle this issue and we will continue to drive home the message that you need to switch off before you drive off.