March 2017 saw the fixed penalty for mobile phone use behind the wheel jump by double to £200 and six points, signifying a strict change in the Police’s outlook on phones behind the wheel. But with mobile devices being so diverse, it’s left people asking what exactly counts as ‘mobile phone use’?
It should be no surprise for you to hear that it’s illegal to use a hand held mobile phone behind the wheel, this has been true since December 2003. But since then mobile technology has grown to not only include mobile calls and texts, but a whole plethora of mobile entertainment. As our interaction with mobile devices increased, the usage behind the wheel increased too. Of course, anything distracting you from driving is going to have a huge impact on safety, and you are twice as likely to have an accident while using a mobile phone behind the wheel.
The Highway code states that if you have to use a mobile phone you should park at the side of the road safely, apply the handbrake and preferably turn off the engine. This avoids any chance of you being considered as still driving. This rule of thumb works well for phone calls and makes absolute sense for text messages, but what about mobile streaming and navigation?
Strictly speaking hands free means exactly that, you cannot handle the device at any time. To use your phone as a sat-nav it must be securely mounted in a cradle. The trouble with this is the temptation to use it for other services. If you see you have a text message or a notification on social media it’s all too easy to check it, however quickly, this is still illegal and this could land you with a hefty fine and six points – even if you are stationary in traffic or at a junction. The best way to remain safe behind the wheel is to stow your mobile device in the glovebox or in a bag or handbag during your journey and utilise bluetooth hands free to communicate should you need to.
The latest range of Kenwood multimedia receivers allow you connect to your smartphone wirelessly or via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, allowing you to keep it out of arms reach and remove any temptation to touch it, while still allowing full access to Spotify, Apple Maps, text messages and crystal clear mobile calls. The latest Kenwood DMX7017DABS also integrates a dash cam function and DAB+ radio too.
Check out the Kenwood DMX7017DABS here: http://kenwoodblog.co.uk/?p=3683. Or for more information on our Bluetooth range of products visit www.kenwood-electronics.co.uk/car/features/bluetooth/