Drivers have been warned not to submit events and information on popular smartphone apps while driving or face hefty fines, points, or even a ban.

Road safety experts at Road Angel have warned motorists they are breaking the law if they touch a smartphone while driving even if it is secured in a cradle.

The latest stats show that in one year, almost 500 people were injured in incidents where the driver was using their mobile phone, and a further 17 lost their lives as a result.

Department for Transport data also shows that 76% of Brits do not think the laws surrounding mobile phones and driving are properly enforced.


Now, experts are urging drivers to get to grips with the law so they don’t fall foul of it even if some popular apps encourage smartphone interaction while driving.

Following a legal change in 2022, it is now against the law for drivers to hold and use their mobile phones, tablets, sat navs, or any other devices which can send and receive data.

There are certain circumstances where motorists are permitted to use their phones whilst driving, such as making a contactless payment at a drive-through restaurant while the vehicle isn’t moving, or when making a 999 call.

And, so long as the driver isn’t holding any device, hands-free tech access is also legal, such as using voice-command systems.

This means that a phone in a cradle displaying a maps app is permitted, so long as the driver doesn’t touch it, but confusingly the same rule does not apply to an infotainment car system.

However, some navigation apps require motorists to touch the screen multiple times to report issues on the road such as congestion, potholes, vehicle crashes, speed cameras and police locations.

Submitting real-time data allows the app to reroute other drivers away from traffic or hazards, as well as provide updates to those in the vicinity.

While it is legal to use driving apps that require user interaction, it is illegal to touch any smartphone whilst driving, meaning any motorist who attempts to report issues through the app via a smartphone when on the move is breaking the law.

Furthermore, mobile devices in cradles, or sat navs, should never be placed in a position which obstructs the road ahead, else a fine and licence points could soon follow.

Gary Digva, founder of Road Angel said that drivers should avoid touching their smartphone devices at all costs.

He said: “There is still some confusion around the use of phones whilst driving, despite the law tightening up over a year ago.

“We think it is important for motorists to understand what they can and can’t do when using some popular driving apps as they encourage user interaction in real-time.

“Most sat navs are updated live collecting information on things such as speed limits and police locations without the need for user interaction.

“Using devices while driving has been shown to cause severe accidents, with almost 500 people injured in incidents where the motorist was using their phone. It’s time a clear message was sent to motorists that it is never acceptable.

“Not only can being on your phone whilst driving lead to hefty fines and points but it also puts a lot of people in danger, that’s why it’s really important to make sure you have the right set up and equipment for a safe journey, no matter where you’re travelling.”

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