Almost half of van drivers could be a facing a £200 fine and six points on their license for using their smartphones behind the wheel. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles conducted a survey of 1,000 UK van drivers which showed as many as 46% use their smartphones for navigation while driving, putting them in line for prosecution under changes to the Highway Code which were introduced in early 2022.
The Highway Code was updated in January to make it illegal to scroll through music playlists, take photos or use apps while driving. Previously the law only outlawed making a call or sending messages.
Sat navs will still technically be legal to use on a phone but the device must be secured to the dashboard or windshield and not block your view. In addition, your device must have hands-free access, such as a Bluetooth headset, voice command or integration with your infotainment system.
David Hanna, Head of Sales Operations at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles commented:
“We know that van drivers rely on sat navs to get them from one job to the next, but it’s important they do so legally.”
Sat navs are an important part of driving, with 93% of van drivers using one in some capacity. So, to help drivers stay on the right side of the law, most new vans are available with large touchscreen infotainment units incorporating Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, but in older vans or more basic models it’s necessary to securely mount any device you’re using.