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Archive Monthly Archives: February 2019

Smartphone as GPS

Using a Smart Phone as a Sat Nav

Using a Smart Phone as a Sat Nav

For the courier car drivers and everyone else in the UK using a smart phone as a Sat Nav is possible and legal if done correctly. The main thing to remember is to plot your course and set your phone in the hands free mode before even starting the engine. By following the legal guidelines you will not invalidate your courier insurance.

What you need to do to use your phone as a Sat Nav before you start out on your journey.

  • The holder for your phone is critical. This way you will be able to view the display without ever touching it.
  • 45 degree angle or more to one side from the center of the drivers view is the legal place for a smart phone to be located.
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Where can I place the holder so I can view the phone’s screen?

The placement of your phone in a holder is regulated by the UK government. Technically by UK law it is illegal to affix your holder to the windshield. This way your view of the road is unobstructed. In the UK Highway Code the windshield has to remain clear at all time.

  • Low or at the bottom of the windshield might not be seen as obstructing your view of the road.
  • The air vent on the dash is a legal and good place to attach your phone holder so you can view the screen and not get a ticket.
  • 45 degree angle or more to one side from the center of the drivers view is the legal place for a smart phone to be located.
  • The charging wire of the phone can not be across the driver so it won’t impede the driver’s ability to react.

What does UK law say about a driver using a mobile phone in a vehicle?

To help prevent a driver from being distracted the handling of a cell phone for any reason is prohibited by law. This includes text messages, phone calls or changing screens when the engine is on. The only way to interact with a cell phone is when it is in the hands free mode and it responds to your voice.

If a driver becomes distracted for any reason by using their smart phone and caught the fine is £200 and 6 points are then given against the driving record of the offender.

If you are involved in an accident you phone records will be investigated. If you were using your phone when the accident occurs you could be prosecuted.

Who can touch a smart phone being used for Sat Nav?

While the driver of a courier van or any other type of vehicle can not physically touch the cell phone, other occupants of the vehicle can. This includes navigators, assistants and passengers.

Can Motorcycle Couriers use Smartphones for Sat Nav ?

Motorcycle couriers are free to use smartphones for navigation and many do. All you need is a proper handlebar mount that will secure your smartphone and then use as your sat nav. Using a smartphone is a cheaper option than the traditional GPS navigational unit.

Responsible use of Sat Nav effects 

The proper use of a smart phone as a Sat Nav is the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle, whether commercial or private. If a driver is ticketed for improper use of a smart phone and points are placed on the driving record, their insurance premiums will increase due to the increase in risk associated with the driver. If you need any information on this topic our knowledgeable insurance brokers can and will assist you.

Road safety should always be foremost in the mind of any driver particularly courier drivers. Never forget the basics that we covered in the road safety reminders article.