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New laws on mobile phone use when driving have come into effect today and research suggests that many drivers are unaware of the changes. In this article, we look at how the new legislation may impact commercial drivers across the UK.

What are the new rules?

    The new rules ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games whilst driving a vehicle. The law also applies to the use of smartwatches, tablets and laptops when used behind the wheel.

    What is the punishment?

      Anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and six points on their licence.

      Using sat nav on smartphones

        Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles published a study that found that almost half of van drivers are at risk of being penalised as a result of using a sat nav app on their smartphone. A thousand UK van drivers were questioned and 46% said that they used an app on their smartphone for navigation.

        The Government says that drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle. While it is still legal to use sat nav on your mobile phone, it must be safely secured to the dashboard or windscreen, where it must not block your view.

        Notifying drivers

          It is important that all your drivers are aware of the change in legislation, to help them avoid penalties. Why not try using the AssetGo messenger to notify them. It’s an easy way to update your drivers and track who’s read the notification.