Warning About Mobile Phone Ruling

Businesses should be warned about a recent ruling which could increase the number of prosecutions for drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone.
In a recent case a district judge ruled that the act of switching off an alarm on the phone was constituted as ‘using the phone’.

Although the driver wasn’t using the phone to make a call, a police officer saw the driver’s hand and his thumb was moving across the keys. The judge ruled that it didn’t matter what the driver was doing, because any use of the phone (such as switching off an alarm) amounted to ‘using a hand-held phone’.
If the judge is correct then this means that drivers who own multi-purpose mobile devices that offer a range of functions are prevented from undertaking any hand-held function whilst driving.

This could include holding the device and switching it on with a view to making a hands-free call via bluetooth, or holding the device before placing it into a USB port to listen to music. It seems that these activities would be classed as ‘using the phone’ and therefore have to be carried out whilst the vehicle is parked.