It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road whilst using a hand-held mobile phone or other similar device or to cause or permit the driver of a motor vehicle on a road to drive whilst using such a device.
The number of penalty points imposed has recently doubled from 3 to a severe 6 penalty points on your driving licence. When issued with a Fixed Penalty, a driver can expect to receive the 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. Obviously 6 penalty points is a considerable number of points to have sitting on your licence for several years and before accepting the Fixed Penalty, people should carefully consider the effect of this for current or future potential Driving Disqualification under the Totting Up procedure.
We do have a high success rate challenging these charges in court, obviously depending on the circumstances of your case. You can read some sample court cases below. If you decide you wish to fight the charges contact us to discuss your chances of success.
If pled guilty at court or convicted after trial, the court does have the power to levy a maximum fine up to £1000 (or £2500 for drivers of goods vehicles or passenger carrying vehicles), but a fine at this level is rarely imposed. Drivers should also note that Scottish courts now possess the power to disqualify, on a discretionary basis, for this offence, but again this is rare.
A driver whose driving falls below the standard that would be expected of a competent and careful driver whilst using a mobile phone may be prosecuted for more serious charges such as careless or dangerous driving (see seperate sections devoted to these topics)
The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2003 define a device to which the legislation applies as:
"A device, other than a two-way radio, which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting or receiving data"
A device is deemed to be ‘hand-held’ if it is actually held or must be held during the course of performing an interactive function. Devices such as hand-held satellite navigation systems, computers and Blackberry’s are thus all ensnared by the legislation.
Performing an ‘interactive communication function’ covers a multitude of activities including texting, making or receiving a call, listening to answering machine messages or downloading data from the web.
The law relating to this offence is far from straightforward and it is possible, in certain circumstances to advance a defence to a charge. Accordingly, it is vitally important to obtain expert advice at the earliest possible opportunity
In order to obtain a conviction for a charge of this nature the prosecution require to prove beyond reasonable doubt that that an ‘interactive function’ was being performed by a driver at the time of an offence. Simply holding such a device in one’s hand whilst driving, or using the device perform a ‘one way function’ such as checking the time or dictating a memo will not amount to ‘use’ for the purposes of the legislation and an acquittal could be secured
Moreover, there is a defence to this charge if the person using the device is using the mobile phone to make a genuine emergency call and it unsafe or impractical for them to stop. Similarly, if the phone is held in a cradle at the time of usage then it is arguable that the driver is not using a ‘hand-held device’.
All of Scotland Covered:
Including: Glasgow Edinburgh Aberdeen Dundee Paisley Renfrewshire East Kilbride Perth Livingston Cumbernauld Hamilton Kirkcaldy Dunfermline Ayr Kinross Kilmarnock Inverness Greenock Inverclyde Port Glasgow Coatbridge North Lanarkshire Glenrothes fife Airdrie Falkirk Stirling Rutherglen Dumfries Galloway Motherwell Wishaw Clydebank West Dunbartonshire Bearsden East Dunbartonshire Cambuslang Newton Mearns East Renfrewshire Bishopbriggs Musselburgh East Lothian Arbroath Angus Polmont Elgin Renfrew Renfrewshire Alloa Bellshill Clackmannanshire Blantyre Dumbarton West Dunbartonshire Kirkintilloch Clarkston East Renfrewshire Bathgate West Lothian Stenhousemuir Falkirk Peterhead Aberdeenshire Barrhead Grangemouth Falkirk St Andrews Fife Kilwinning Ayrshire Giffnock viewpark Buckhaven Penicuik Midlothian Stranraer Johnstone Erskine Larkhall Moray