With more drivers than ever using their mobile phone as a sat nav and harsher penalties for drivers using hand-held devices, it makes sense to get a mobile phone mount. But where can you legally mount a mobile phone or sat nav? Read on to find out.
Mounting on the windscreen could break the law
If you do choose to mount a mobile phone or sat nav on the windscreen, you might be breaking the law. The Highway Code states: “Windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision.” And that means a mobile phone mounted by suction onto the windscreen could be against the law.
Where can you mount a phone on the windscreen?
Police have confirmed that the only legal place to put a mobile phone on the windscreen is in the bottom right-hand corner. Anywhere else and you can be liable for three penalty points.
Where else can you mount a mobile phone?
Assuming you want to steer clear of a windscreen mobile phone mount there are a couple of other options. And they don’t necessarily mean you have to drill holes in the dashboard. You can buy holders that will fit into the CD slot on the dashboard. Others will clip onto air vents.
When can you touch a phone?
Touch a hand-held phone that isn’t in a mount while the engine is on and you are breaking the law. If you’re planning to use the sat nav app on your mobile while driving, you should set it up prior to setting off. Should you need to reprogramme the sat nav, you’ll have to pull over. Even if you’re stationary, at traffic lights or in a jam for example, it’s illegal to handle a mobile phone. You can also be penalised for using a mobile phone if you’re supervising a learner driver.
What about if the phone is hands-free?
Even if you have a mount for your mobile phone, it’s still best to have it set up so that it responds to voice commands. However, you can touch the phone in its cradle, perhaps to answer a phone call. But if you’re seen not to be in control of the vehicle while using a hands-free phone, you can still be prosecuted. This could result in three penalty points and in extreme cases, a £1000 fine and driving ban. Therefore, if you have to reprogramme the sat nav while driving, it’s probably best to pull over to do so.
You really don’t want to be fined for using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel. It can result in six penalty points plus a £200 fine. And if you’ve passed your driving test in the last two years, you could lose your licence.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.