Using Mobile Hand-held Devices When Driving

Specialist Motoring Offences Solicitor with over 35 years’ expertise in this area. Let me help you.

Paul Donnachie, Motoring Offences Solicitor

Paul Donnachie, Solicitor

Using a mobile hand-held device while driving is one of the most common road traffic offences in Scotland.

If you have been accused of using a mobile hand-held device (such as a mobile phone) when driving in Scotland, please call us now on Freephone 0800 678 5167 or make a Free No Obligation Initial Enquiry today and let us explain your options.

Often such cases hinge on the evidence presented by each side, so it is important to put together a solid defence that shows you are not guilty, or that the charges cannot be proven.

“I was facing 2 charges, namely dangerous driving and speeding at speeds of up to 120mph. Naturally, I was pretty worried. I was put in touch with Paul Donnachie of Donnachie Law. He agreed to represent me.

Long story short, Paul met with someone in the Procurator Fiscal’s office and went over the charges with him. He managed to negotiate the dropping of the dangerous driving charge. And the Fiscal agreed also to limit the speeding charge to “speeds of up to 100mph”.

I tendered a guilty plea to the amended speeding charge and received a fine and 5 penalty points. I was amazed and delighted at the outcome especially since losing my licence would probably have meant losing my job as well. I doubt many other lawyers could have achieved a result like that.”

JM, Kirkcaldy

Penalties for using mobile hand-held devices

If you are caught by the police using a mobile hand-held device when driving, you can be issued a fixed penalty fine of £200 and six penalty points.

If the case goes to court and you are found or plead guilty, you will have six penalty points added to your licence and can be fined up to £1,000. If you were driving a goods vehicle or a vehicle adapted to carry more than eight passengers, you could be fined up to £2,500.

Mobile hand-held devices and the law

Often we are contacted by people who have been charged with using a mobile hand-held device when driving, yet they tell us they did not realise they were breaking the law. This is not uncommon. Legislation has not always kept pace with new technologies, and now there are some misconceptions about what is, and what is not, allowed.

According to the law in Scotland, a mobile hand-held device is something which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data, other than a two-way radio. This device must be held in some way, whether in your hand or wedged between your ear and shoulder.

You are not allowed to use a mobile hand-held device if you are –

  • Driving a vehicle, even if you are stationary due to traffic congestion, traffic lights or a junction
  • Supervising a driver with a provisional licence

This means you cannot read or send messages, make or receive phone calls, access the internet, or send or receive images in the above scenarios. However, you are allowed to use a mobile hand-held device if –

  • You have safely parked
  • You need to dial 999 or 112 because of an emergency and it is not safe or practical to stop
  • You have hands-free access

How can we help?

If you are caught using a mobile hand-held device when driving, the police will not decline to report you for prosecution simply on the basis that you did not know you were breaking the law.

However, it is possible in certain cases to defend a charge of using a mobile hand-held device while driving, and to defend other related charges, such as careless driving. We have a great deal of experience in this area of the law and know how to build a strong case that either verifies your innocence, or discounts the evidence provided by the prosecution.

This can be difficult to achieve on your own, as most people do not have an extensive knowledge of the law, or experience of defending such charges in court. Furthermore, it is often your word against that of the police. That is why support from a road traffic defence solicitor is invaluable.

Contact us now

If you would like us to help you with a road traffic offence, please contact us now on Freephone 0800 678 5167 or make a Free No Obligation Initial Enquiry.

If we feel we cannot assist you, we will let you know at the start. If we believe, however, that you have a good defence or strong mitigating special reasons we will act on your behalf, working hard to preserve your licence.

    Make a no obligation enquiry

    Why Choose Us?

    • Bringing over 35 years’ experience to help you
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    • Featured in Scots Law Times

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