Police remind motorists that using their phone as a Sat-Nav could face a £200 fine and a ban
Police chiefs have warned that drivers using their mobile phone to navigate while driving will be treated just the same as if they were calling or texting while driving.
The clampdown on motorists using mobile phones to call and text at the wheel began in April, but drivers have been warned this also extends to using their phones as satnavs while they drive.
It is not illegal to run a navigation app while driving, but motorists can face prosecution if they touch the device while driving.
The financial penalty for touching your phone while at the wheel has been doubled to £200, as well as receiving six penalty points – which could see new drivers disqualified.
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs Council said:
“If an officer determines that a driver using their satnav hindered their ability to control the car, the driver could face prosecution.”
The harsh penalties show the current inconsistencies in the law between using a dedicated satnav device over using mobile phone apps, which follows a recent study by uSwitch which found that UK drivers had become ‘satnav junkies’ which leads to more dangerous driving habits.
According to the report, 5% of drivers get caught speeding because they rely on their satnav which shows the wrong or outdated speed limit for the road.
The over-reliance on satnavs has led to almost 20% of drivers to make dangerous manoeuvres such as changing lanes, performing U turns or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
The findings are backed-up by a separate survey conducted by Post Office Money which found that 7 million UK adults had never used a roadmap, and 2.5 million admitted to not even knowing how to use one.
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