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Local police issue warning over changes to law on mobile phones while driving

West Yorkshire Police are highlighting that the law around using a smartphone is changing from this Friday (25th March).

It is already illegal to use a hand-held device to make phone calls and send messages, except in an emergency, but from Friday “using” a hand-held device will be expanded to cover:

•    Illuminating the screen
•    Checking the time
•    Checking notifications
•    Unlocking the device
•    Making, receiving or rejecting a telephone or internet-based call
•    Sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content
•    Sendin, receiving or uploading a photo or video
•    Utilising camera, video or sound recording
•    Drafting any text
•    Accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages
•    Accessing an app
•    Accessing the internet

There is an exemption which allows drivers to use a mobile to make a contactless payment while the vehicle is stationary at places such as drive-through restaurants and car parks.

Using a mobile phone for navigation will continue to be legal, as long as it is kept in a cradle and not in the driver’s hand. Hands-free accessories can be used such as bluetooth headsets and connectors, voice command systems, dashboard holders and windscreen mounts. The device must not block your view of the road and traffic ahead.

In the video below, Sergeant Johnson from West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit explains why these changes have been introduced and the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

There is more information available online at


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