The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022 are set to take effect on March 25, 2022. These regulations change the meaning of hand-held devices; these are the definitions that will control how drivers use their phones and devices.

The infraction

It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle on a road while using a cellphone or other hand-held device (as described in the regulations). If you are the supervisor of a provisional licence holder, you are also breaking the law.

Law as it is now

At the moment, the law prohibits the use of a mobile phone or other hand-held device while driving a car. A hand-held device is a device that performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data but is not a two-way radio.

When a phone or device is handled at some time throughout the process of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function, it is considered hand-held.

  • An interactive communication function includes:
  • Sending or receiving oral or written messages;
  • Sending or receiving facsimile documents;
  • Sending or receiving still or moving images;
  • Providing access to the internet.

A new law has been passed

The modification significantly broadens the definition of a device as well as its application.

Hand-held devices will be defined as any device that can transmit and receive data but is not a two-way radio, regardless of whether such capabilities are enabled.

A phone or device will be treated as a hand-held device in the same way that it is now, with one key exception. The device will be classified as hand-held if it is, or must be, held while being utilised, according to the modified regulation.

The term ‘using’ will be used to refer to the following:

  • Illuminating the screen;
  • Checking the time;
  • Checking notifications;
  • Unlocking the device;
  • Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet-based call;
  • Sending, receiving, or uploading oral or written contact;
  • Sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video;
  • Utilising camera, video or sound recording functionality;
  • Drafting any text;
  • Accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages;
  • Accessing an application; or
  • Accessing the internet.

This list is significantly longer than the existing law’s list, which falls under the interactive communication function.

It should also be clearer to the general public what they may and, more significantly, cannot do with a phone while driving a vehicle.


In specific cases, a device can be employed. Calling the emergency services, acting in response to a genuine emergency, or if it is risky or impossible for him to stop driving in order to make the call are all covered by existing law.

Furthermore, if he is utilising the device to conduct a remote-controlled parking function in specific conditions, the law is not broken.

The amendment recognises technological advancements by allowing a device to be used for a contactless payment made at a contactless payment terminal.


Six penalty points are assessed, with a maximum fine of £1000 (or £2500 if the vehicle is equipped to carry more than eight passengers). This would result in the loss of a driver’s licence for someone who has had a full driver’s licence for less than two years.

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