Fines of up to 174 euros for using your mobile in traffic

Using your mobile phone that is not in a fixed holder as a GPS could soon risk you a 174 euro fine.  The daily De Standaard today revealed plans to ban all use of mobile phones in cars in traffic except when the set if fixed to a holder on the dashboard and actions are initiated before you start off.

The measure will also apply when you use your mobile as a GPS or to listen to music.

Use of mobile phones that are not in a fixed holders behind the wheel is dangerous and leads to numerous traffic deaths each year.  Current legislation bans the use of a handset in your hand behind the wheel in traffic to make a call, but today mobiles are used for many other purposes.

Phones can be used to text, to look things up and listen to music.  This is why lawmakers have decided to tighten up the law. As a result, not only making a call with a phone in your hand but also scrolling, swiping, and even reading on your mobile will be banned under the traffic code.

“All use of mobiles while you are driving will be banned” says lawmaker Jef Van den Bergh (Flemish Christian democrat). “Looking at your mobile for 5 seconds, means you haven’t got your eyes on the road for 100 metres. Studies show that people have no issue with looking at their mobile for twenty, thirty seconds. You are driving blind in traffic.”

Mobiles can only be used as a GPS if they are in a fixed holder and the address is punched in before you start driving!  

Using your mobile behind the wheel will in future be treated as a category 3 offence.  This means a heftier fine of up to 174 euros.

“This is the category for all offences that create a direct danger in traffic” says Van den Bergh.

The new legislation is set to come in next year.


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