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TAXI LEGAL: Mobile phones, penalty points and revocation risks

The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022 is now in force and expands the prohibition on mobile phone use. Here, Neil Morley gives an overview...

On 25th March 2022 the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022 came into force across England, Scotland and Wales.

It amends the prohibition on using mobile telephones (or interactive communication devices) when driving. A contravention of which constitutes an offence liable to a fine and penalty points.

Previously, the offence was committed when a driver, whilst driving, held a mobile telephone (or interactive communication device) and used it for communication. This has now been amended, and the scope widened, so that:

“...the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone or similar device is triggered when a driver holds a mobile phone or similar device and uses it regardless of whether that use involves interactive communication...”

Consequently, it is “...illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet or any device that can whether online or offline...” while driving. Exceptions are however available in certain circumstances to permit emergency calls, remote controlled parking functions, contactless payments or when safely parked. In all other situations, hands-free devices may be used.

In the unfortunate event a driver commits an offence; it may either be discharged by fixed penalty notice or trial at a magistrates’ court. If a fixed penalty notice is accepted, the driver will be fined £200 and receive 6 penalty points. If the matter proceeds to court, the driver risks being disqualified, fined up to £1000 and receiving 6 penalty points.

Wherein a driver accepts the fixed penalty notice or is convicted at court, it will likely result in the revocation by Transport for London (TfL) of a hackney carriage or private hire driver licence. TfL clearly states, in respect of these offences and penalties, it will consider the following action:

xii Using a hand-held mobile phone or hand-held device.—Revocation

xii Any other single offence that resulted in six or more penalty points.—Revocation

Whilst revocation is not automatic, TfL is seemingly following the base stance of the Department for Transport (DfT) and Institute of Licensing (IoL) on such matters. Should TfL take such enforcement action, an affected driver will have a right of appeal against the decision.

Moving forward, it is of paramount importance London hackney carriage and private hire drivers are aware of this prohibition and, if not done so already, take reasonable steps to avoid committing an offence.

If you want to check if you are affected by any Taxi Licensing Law matters, please contact Travis Morley now on 01159 724928 or email or visit

About the Author: Neil Morley is a leading lawyer in Taxi Licensing Law who founded Travis Morley in 2010. He has consulted on national law reforms, government briefs and well- reported High Court cases. His opinions have been widely sought by trade organisations, businesses and individuals. He has been published in the Law Society Gazette, Journal of Licensing, Professional Driver Magazine and is a regular contributor to Private Hire News.


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