Drivers are risking a big fine and points on their licence if they do not know the new mobile phone laws coming into force this week.

Tougher limits are coming in for drivers when using mobile phones at the wheel.

Handling a phone or mobile device, whether checking notifications, checking the time or unlocking the device, will be banned under the new rules which come into force on March 25.

Drivers caught breaking the new rules could face a £200 fine or six points on their licence.

This is everything you need to know about the new rules.

New mobile phone rules for drivers

Drivers will not be able to:

  • illuminate the screen
  • check the time
  • check notifications
  • unlock the device
  • make, receive, or reject a telephone or internet based call
  • send, receive or upload oral or written content
  • send, receive or upload a photo or video
  • utilise camera, video, or sound recording functionality
  • draft any text
  • access any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages
  • access an application
  • access the internet

The only exceptions to the new rules are when making an emergency call if it is not possible to stop or pull over, or to make a contactless payment at a toll or drive-thru.

Using your phone as a sat nav will still be allowed as long as it is secured in a holder.

Hands free calls will also be allowed.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The AA has long campaigned to toughen up these rules, and we welcome this announcement.

“This is a much needed upgrade of the law to help make our roads safer. Mobile phones offer many distractions and this sends a clear message that picking them up to use them will not be tolerated.

“The law will also become tougher as the use of smartwatches, tablets and laptops behind the wheel will apply.

“Drivers will be extremely limited on when they can pick up their phone, mainly to call the emergency services when there was no opportunity to safely pull over and to make contactless payments at drive-thrus.

"Being sat in a traffic jam or waiting at the lights is not an excuse, we want people to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.”