CYCLISTS WATCHING: Taxi rep urges cabbies to NEVER use hand-held mobile devices even when stationary
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
Taxi drivers have been urged to ONLY use their mobile devices in cradles, even in heavy stationary traffic, after a rise in the number of cyclists filming cabbies.
Since 25 March drivers now face £200 FINES and SIX PENALTY POINTS for simply unlocking hand-held devices or illuminating the screen as the crack down on mobile usage began.
In London those six points could now also see their licences SUSPENDED or REVOKED.
Police are now able to more easily prosecute drivers using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel after the Government strengthened existing laws in a bid to further improve road safety.
Motorists caught interacting with a mobile device or similar are likely to be hit with an automatic Fixed Penalty Notice.
The case could also go to court and they could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 if the individual was driving a lorry or bus).
If the driver passed their driving test in the last 2 years, they will lose their licence.
In some circumstances, for example if use of a phone has caused or contributed to an accident, the Police may prosecute for driving without due care or dangerous driving in order to secure a more severe punishment.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) reiterated the importance that cabbies never touch their device, even when stationary.
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, recently told members: “Our advice is simple. Never hold the phone whilst driving – anything you need to do can be done whilst it’s in its cradle.
“There are now an army of vigilantes on our streets desperately trying to get any video footage they can of drivers looking at a phone whilst stationary in the traffic. Most of these people are quite sad and filming other people has become an unhealthy obsession.”
There is an exemption to the new law for drivers making a contactless payment using their mobile phone while stationary to ensure the law keeps pace with technology.
This exemption will cover, for example, places like a drive-through restaurant or a road toll, and will only apply when payment is being made with a card reader. It will not allow motorists to make general online payments while driving.
This rule also extends to taking payments using handheld devices which many taxi drivers do.