How using your mobile phone in the PASSENGER seat could land you a £200 fine and six penalty points
MOTORISTS could be slapped with a fine for using their mobile phone in the car – and they don’t even have to be driving.
Brits can actually receive the same £200 fine and six penalty points for using their mobile phone while supervising a learner driver.
As the person instructing a learner driver is legally responsible for the car, road laws that would normally apply to a driver also apply to the instructor in the passenger seat.
That means that it’s illegal for the instructor to touch their mobile phone in any way while teaching another person to drive.
This applies to both professional driving instructors, and friends or family of a new driver that may be supervising a lesson.
In most cases, supervisors should treat a lesson as if they are driving themselves – but not all traffic offences will affect their licence.
Rules for supervising a learner driver
Anyone supervising a learner driver must:
- Be over the age of 21
- Be qualified to drive the type of vehicle they are instructing in
- Have held a full driving licence for at least three years
- Ensure their insurance covers learner drivers
- Not take payment from a learner unless they are a qualified driving instructor
For example, if the learner breaks the speed limit while under supervision, their licence will receive the fine and penalty points instead of the instructor.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said: “Supervising a learner actually puts you in the driving seat so legally you must treat it in the same way as if you were behind the wheel.
“Learning to drive is stressful enough without a passenger beside you who is more worried about posting than parking.”
We previously reported how British motorists face some of the harshest penalties for mobile phone use in Europe.
the road laws you need to know
Since their increase in March 2017, fines for using a mobile phone behind the wheel in the UK have become the joint highest on the continent, along with Holland.
But despite the stern approach taken in Britain, a separate investigation revealed as many as 30,000 drivers were caught using their phones in 2017.
And figures released last June found almost two thirds of drivers still weren’t aware of the penalty for using their phone, close to 18 months after the new laws were introduced.
Source: The Sun Motors – How using your mobile phone in the PASSENGER seat could land you a £200 fine and six penalty points