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Drivers encouraged to hang up with harsher penalties for mobile phone use

7th August 2017

On the 1st of March 2017, the law regarding use of a phone behind the wheel was made considerably tougher; the penalty doubled to six points and a £200 fine, with the underlying message made clear. Using a phone while driving is a reckless and dangerous act which puts lives at risk.

For road users, the distraction caused by a mobile phone can result in serious accidents - even death. In fact, you are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone, with reaction times slower if you text and drive than if you drink and drive. It’s about time that the former was regarded as seriously as the latter.

So, what’s the law today? In short, it’s illegal to use your phone while you drive, unless it’s via a hands-free device; however, should the police believe you are being distracted by your hands-free, you could still be pulled over and fined.

The rules still apply if you’re stopped at lights, queuing in traffic or supervising a learner driver. However, if it’s an emergency where you can’t safely pull over, you can use your phone to call 999 or 112.

Should you break the law, the penalties are strong. Six points on your licence and a £200 fine are the baseline, but you could be taken to court to face further consequences. Possible repercussions include a driving ban, maximum fine of £1,000 or even loss of your licence if you passed in the last 2 years. All in all, is it really worth the risk for a quick text, or check of your social media? Change your habits and keep it in the glovebox, or you could face a dire aftermath.

With connectivity being such an important part of life for many, using your phone’s technology in a safe and productive way has been a keen point of research for vehicle manufacturers. For Audi, communication services have significantly advanced to accommodate for a driver’s need to use data from a phone, without relying on the handset or similar distraction. Bluetooth connectivity is available across the Audi range, allowing for completely hands-free use, as well as transferring data from device to vehicle. Pairing your phone is blissfully simple, with the option to access online services via Audi Connect and view on a central touchscreen or heads-up display.


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