It was recently announced that rules around hand-held mobile phone and device use are to be updated in 2022. Here we look at the current rules, the new mobile phone and device use rules for 2022 and how fleet operators will need to respond to the changes.
What are the current rules around mobile phone and device use whilst driving?
Current rules around mobile phone and device use make it illegal for anyone to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device whilst driving.
What are the new mobile phone and device use rules for 2022?
New rules set to be introduced in 2022 will see these rules tightened even further to ban all use of hand-held devices whilst driving.
This will include banning drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.
Anyone caught using a hand-held device whilst driving will face
- A £200 fixed penalty notice
- 6 points on their driving licence
When are the new mobile phone and device use rules set to be introduced?
The Highway Code is set to be updated, with the new rules to take effect from 2022.
Extra clarity is also expected to be added around what constitutes driving. Rules will be more explicit that being stationary in traffic counts as driving. And therefore, that any use of a hand-held device for example, whilst waiting at traffic lights or whilst in a traffic jam is illegal.
How should your fleets respond to the new mobile phone & device use rules?
As a fleet operator, manager or someone that employs people to drive for work you should have a technology usage policy in place which your drivers are fully trained on.
This policy will need to be updated because of these changes. It will be vital to train your drivers and managers on the updated policy and procedures, and ensure they fully understand the new legislation and related penalties.
Ensure that drivers understand that it is illegal to make use of a mobile device when stationary, with the engine on. Figures from the RAC suggest that as many as 42% of drivers make or receive handheld calls while their car is stationary, and the engine is switched on. These figures indicate this is an area which requires education and a much clearer understanding of the rules and penalties.
If you operate a smaller sized fleet, just having one driver with a conviction for mobile phone usage can put real pressure on your business if you rely heavily on them. This really is an issue which your business needs to take seriously given the potential for harm as well as the severe penalties attached.
The insurance implications of a mobile phone conviction
All driver convictions for mobile phone usage must be communicated to your insurer, or insurer broker so that insurers can make the most accurate representation of risk and price your insurance premium accordingly.
At Anthony Jones we are seeing that insurers are taking a particularly hard line on mobile phone use convictions. Premium increases linked to a driver having a mobile phone conviction are much more penal than those given for speeding offences for example. This demonstrates the severity of the risk mobile phone use whilst driving poses and reiterates again why fleet operators must take a strict approach.
The commercial motor insurance market continues to become increasingly selective over who they want to insure with reducing capacity in the market and continuing price increases. A business’s approach to risk management is becoming more of a focus and we are seeing insurers demand increasing evidence from businesses about their road safety risk management strategies. Be in no doubt that this will extend to how you manage the risk linked to technology usage behind the wheel.
Our teams can work with you to understand the risks that your business faces and to help improve your risk profile. We work in association with DAC Beachcroft and can help you to understand how to draft and implement a Driving Policy for your business. Talk to Anthony Jones today about the difference we can make to your business.