Unless you have had your head stuck in the sand (or mobile phone) then you couldn’t have failed to notice that the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving have changed. The Police have been doing a massive campaign targeting people using their mobile phones resulting in a lot of fines and people losing their licenses.
To clarify the law, it is illegal to use your phone while driving or riding a motorcycle unless you are using a hands-free system like a Bluetooth Headset, Voice Command or a dashboard holder. This still applies if you are stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you are caught and can also be taken to court where you can be banned from driving or get a maximum fine of £1,000 (That’s a lot of driving lessons).
As driving instructors, it is your responsibility to set the example to new drivers on how to drive safely, sensibly and within the law. This is truer than ever as anyone who has passed their driving test in the last 2 years will lose their license if they are caught using their phone.
Your pupils are also paying for the privilege of your time and experience, it’s not fair on them if you are not concentrating on them and spending you time on the phone. Driving instructors are deemed to be in charge of the vehicle, even when learners are behind the wheel, therefore the same rules apply when they are passengers. Can you afford to risk losing your license and possibly your livelihood.
How do I manage my lessons and get new pupils on board I hear you cry? If you are not lucky enough to have a main office with someone to answer you calls for you there are online solutions out there that can manage your bookings for you or you could consider using a relatively inexpensive telephone call answering service, such us Pocket Receptionist, where you can overflow your calls and they can manage your bookings and lessons then deliver messages direct to your phone that you can pick up at your convenience.
BePhoneSmart is a campaign set up by the RAC that will direct drivers to the pledge site BePhoneSmart.uk, make a promise not to us your phone at the wheel and Tweet your support using #BePhoneSmart.