Belfast Telegraph

Loophole on driver mobile use to close

Grant Shapps (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Grant Shapps (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By Neil Lancefield

A legal loophole enabling drivers to escape prosecution for using a mobile to film or take photos will be closed, the Government has announced.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said an urgent review will be carried out to tighten up the existing laws on hand-held mobile use by motorists.

Earlier this year Ramsey Barreto successfully appealed against a conviction for filming the scene of a crash while driving after his lawyers argued the rules only relate to using a phone for "interactive communication".

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it will revise the legislation so that any driver caught using a hand-held phone behind the wheel can be prosecuted whether they are texting, taking photos, browsing the internet or scrolling through a music playlist. It expects the proposals to be in place by spring 2020.

The action follows a recent select committee report which urged the Government to introduce tougher restrictions on the issue.

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