Mobile phones : THINK! : Roadsafety

Mobile phones

It is illegal to hold and use your phone while driving. Get caught and you will face 6 points and £200.

According to the RAC Report on Motoring 2017, 23% of drivers admitted to using a handheld mobile at the wheel to make or take a call in the past 12 months, and 18% admitted to checking texts, email or social media.

Any time a driver’s attention is not on the road can be dangerous. That’s why THINK encourages all drivers to put their phone away when driving.

The facts

  • Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
  • Research shows:
    • You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone. Read research report
    • Your reaction times are two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive, and this increases to three times if you use a handheld phone. Read research report
  • Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

The law

  • It's illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
  • You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
  • If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
  • If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
  • Using hands free (e.g. for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.

Mobile phones and drivingOpens new window

THINK! advice



Put your phone away before driving so you won’t be tempted to use it. Make the glove compartment the phone compartment.

Don't call other people when they're driving.

Use hands free devices responsibly.

Make a pledge



It's difficult to resist the temptation to pick up your phone when you're driving - even though it's illegal. But as soon as you take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel you're putting yourself and others at risk.

We're proud to be supporting the RAC's Be Phone Smart campaign that encourages drivers to make an online pledge not use their handheld phone while driving. Make your promise


Driving challenge game



Driving challenge game

It's difficult to do two things at once. Play our game to find out how a phone call distracts you when driving.

THINK! Education

THINK! Road Safety Resources

A range of THINK! road safety materials is available for the public, for schools and other groups, and for road safety professionals.