UK to Close Loophole That Allows Phone Users to Take Photos or Play Games While Driving

The British government is closing a loophole in U.K. driving laws that allowed some smartphone users to escape punishment for picking up and using their mobile device to take a photo or play a game while driving (via BBC News).

distracted driving
As it stands, making phone calls and sending text messages are banned while driving on roads in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Drivers can get six penalty points and a £200 fine if they use a hand-held phone when driving. Drivers who passed their driving test in the last two years can also lose their license.

The current applicable law says it is illegal to use a device "which performs an interactive communication" while driving. However, drivers have successfully argued that filming or taking photos while driving does not match the wording in the current legislation.

For example, in 2019 Ramsey Barreto was found guilty of using his phone to film a crash in north London two years ago, but the 51-year-old successfully appealed against the conviction.

Two High Court judges subsequently criticized the 16-year-old law on using mobile phones, which they said had failed to evolve with the rise of smartphones.

BBC News reports that the new legislation will apply across the U.K. and is expected to come into effect early next year.

Mobiles will still be able to be used to pay for a drive-through takeaway, and drivers will still be able to use devices hands-free under the plans, according to the Department for Transport.

Top Rated Comments

Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
17 months ago
About time. It’s so ridiculously selfish when you see people looking down at their phones thinking it’s okay.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacBookGamer Avatar
17 months ago

We're not a free country, all this is about really.
Muh freedoms to kill people on highways are being taken away.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
17 months ago

We're not a free country, all this is about really.
So, you think people should be allowed to be distracted, while driving a tonne or two of metal at speed? Okay. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
17 months ago

And what if you are not the driver, but a car passenger, and you happen to be on vacation, and wanted a snapshot of the scenic vista past your window? That is now banned?
"The current applicable law says it is illegal to use a device "which performs an interactive communication" while driving."

It's in the article, "while driving".
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MasterHowl Avatar
17 months ago
I have very little sympathy for folks who want to use their phones while driving. It's incredibly selfish. Nothing is urgent or important enough to use your phone while controlling a car. Either (a) do what you must before you set off (e.g., punch in directions) or (b) pull over to type a message. It is not much to ask.
The number of people who I see with their eyes down on their phone (and off the road) is quite astounding. Six points and a £200 fine don't go far enough in my opinion.

We're not a free country, all this is about really.
We are lucky enough in the UK to live in one of the freest countries in the world. Thankfully those freedoms stop short of allowing people to use a mobile phone while controlling a several-tonne metal machine on wheels traveling fast enough to easily kill people in places where other people walk/drive.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unggoy Murderer Avatar
17 months ago

What about navigation?
Configure directions before you set off, and make sure the phone is in a position where you don't have to be holding it.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

UseSaveToPhotosOptionPreviewingImageInGmail

Gmail to Let Users Save Image Attachments Directly to Google Photos

Thursday May 27, 2021 3:11 am PDT by
Google is adding a new "Save to Photos" button to Gmail that, when pressed, automatically saves emailed picture attachments to Google Photos. The new feature means Gmail users will no longer have to download photo attachments from messages in order to manually back them up to Google Photos. The "Save to Photos" option will go alongside the existing "Add to Drive" button that appears when...
qualcomm iphone xs

FTC Abandons Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm

Monday March 29, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
The United States Federal Trade Commission is abandoning its antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm, reports Bloomberg. The FTC will not seek a Supreme Court review of a 2020 federal appeals court decision that determined that Qualcomm's licensing practices are fair and not anticompetitive. In a statement, FTC chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said that the FTC's conclusion that Qualcomm...
lg wing

LG to Shut Down Smartphone Business

Monday April 5, 2021 12:30 am PDT by
After five grueling years of financial losses and uncertainty about the future of its mobile handsets, LG Electronics today announced its intention to shut down its smartphone division. In a press release, LG says the decision to shut down its smartphone business will allow it to focus on other sectors such as artificial intelligence, home computing, and business-to-business solutions. LG's ...
tom hanks banner

Tom Hanks to Star in Sci-Fi Film 'Finch' Headed to Apple TV+ Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple TV+ has won an auction for a new sci-fi film starring Tom Hanks that will premiere on the streaming service later this year, according to Deadline. The report says the film will likely be an awards season contender. Titled "Finch," the film is said to revolve around a man, a robot, and a dog that form an unlikely family. Hanks stars as Finch, a robotics engineer who has lived in an...
Apple UK iOS app economy has a breakthrough year 031421 big

App Store Supports Over 830,000 Jobs in UK, Germany, and France, Says Apple

Monday March 15, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Apple says its App Store now supports more than 330,000 jobs in the U.K., a 10% increase over the past year, despite the pressures of the global health crisis on the nation's economy. According to Apple, 2020 was a "breakthrough year" for the iOS app economy, with developers in the U.K. generating more than £3.6 billion in total earnings, which represents 22% in growth compared to the...
macos big sur ios 14 iphone 12 pro macbook air icloud drive desktop documents hero

Apple Merging 'iCloud Documents and Data' Service With iCloud Drive in May 2022

Tuesday May 11, 2021 2:36 am PDT by
Apple plans to merge its iCloud Documents and Data service with iCloud Drive starting in May of 2022, according to a support document published late last week (via MacGeneration). iCloud Drive and iCloud Documents and Data share the fundamental ability to backup data from apps. However, iCloud Documents and Data was often a cumbersome, confusing experience. In contrast, iCloud Drive is more...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

Bloomberg: iOS 15 to Bring Redesigned iPad Home Screen, Updated Lock Screen, New Notification and Privacy Options

Thursday April 22, 2021 3:56 am PDT by
Apple will introduce several new features and enhancements in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 later this year, including a redesigned Home Screen for iPad, an updated Lock Screen, and new notification preferences for users, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report:Apple Inc. is readying a major revamp of its mobile software that will include an upgrade to how users handle notifications, a...
apple system status app store outage

Apple Says App Store, iMessage, iCloud Drive, and Other iCloud Services Are Experiencing Issues [Update: Fixed]

Monday March 29, 2021 10:51 am PDT by
The App Store and Mac App Store are currently experiencing an outage, according to Apple's System Status page. Apple says that App Store services could be slow or unavailable for some users, with the problem starting at 10:05 a.m. Pacific Time. Other services like iCloud Drive, iCloud Mail, and iMessage are also listed as experiencing issues, with some users unable to access Apple's...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...