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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I work for a Car Garage. I was on my way to deliver a car to

Customer Question

I work for a Car Garage. I was on my way to deliver a car to the customer. My mobile phone was on the passenger seat. As the cars clock on centre counsal was inaccurate,when the car stopped at a traffic lights, I switched on the display on my mobile phone to glance at the time. Coincidently while doing so, a police man on a motorbike happen to stop beside me at the traffic lights and saw me looking at the time clock on the mobile & asked me to pull over at a Bus stop after the traffic lights. Seeing that it was red route all the way even at the Bus stop, I didn't stop there, but waved to the police man that I intend to stop a safe place which is a side road after the Bus stop. So I stopped there & came out of the car. The police man followed & had a real go at me for not stopping at the Bus stop. I told him it was due the double red lines & I didn't want to commit an offence. He said He is going to give me 3 penality points £100 fine for holding the phone. I told him I wasn't making any call at all. I just gave a glance to look at the time on the phone. He refused to listen to me or consider my explanation & still gave me fixed penality. If I request for a court hearing, Have I got a defence ? Would the judge consider my case & explanation ?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

You accept touching the keys on the phone?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just the on-off button for the display on the screen.Phone wasn't fully in my hand.it was lying in the centre counsal and the car was stationary at the traffic light. I turned the display on & sort of slightly tilted towards me to glance at the time
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thats bad news I'm afraid.

That does amount to "use" of a phone. Phones have many features now and the law doesn't require you to actually receive or make a call to offend. It is rather heavy handed of the officer but there is no defence in saying that he had a discretion that he choose to exercise against you.

In any event though, there is a lesser offence of not having control over the vehicle that they could drop down upon even if you convinced a court that this does not amount to use of a phone. That was the offence always used before the law changed to create a specific offence.

If you contest it there is always a chance that they may fail to summons put of error or cps might drop it for public interest reasons but obviously you cannot rely on that .

I'm very sorry but thats your position I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I would like a second openion about my mobile phone case. What as a defence if I say I didn't touch any of the buttons or switches on the phone.When the car came to a stop at the traffic lights, I just tilted the phone (without picking it)and just glanced at the time on it for 2 seconds
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I would like a second openion about my mobile phone case. What as a defence if I say I didn't touch any of the buttons or switches on the phone.When the car came to a stop at the traffic lights, I just tilted the phone (without picking it)and just glanced at the time on it for 2 seconds
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I would like a second openion about my mobile phone case. What as a defence if I say I didn't touch any of the buttons or switches on the phone.When the car came to a stop at the traffic lights, I just tilted the phone (without picking it)and just glanced at the time on it for 2 seconds
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I see you have asked for a second opinion. I have to agree with my colleague. Sadly as soon as you tiled it, the offence is made out. You used it, even if not for making calls or touching the buttons, but you tilted it.

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I help you any further with this please?

Alex

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