The temptation for some drivers who don’t own a sat nav is to use their mobile phone as a handy way of finding their destination. However, police have warned that drivers caught doing this could land them with a £200 fine and six penalty points. In April, tough new laws were brought into force banning motorists from using their phones on the roads and this extends to using their devices as sat navs. Any new drivers who are caught, and have only passed their test within the last two years, will automatically lose their license. A police spokesman said: “One second is all it takes to lose focus and in that one second, your life could change forever. “Taking your eyes off the road to check a text, or change a song on your phone, or send a picture, could have devastating consequences. “The increased penalties we will be enforcing during this week and beyond reflect how truly dangerous using your mobile phone behind the wheel is. “Is it really worth the fine and points on your licence? New drivers, is it worth losing your full licence? I’d argue it isn’t and I’d urge all motorists to think twice before using a handheld phone.” So unless you can guarentee that you won’t touch your phone whilst on your trip, you could be at risk of breaking these new laws.However, drivers can use hands-free phones to navigate their way but they must be set up properly before setting off. If at any point you need to touch your phone then pull over to do so. Drivers who are deemed as not being in control of their vehicle, even if using a hands-free phone, can be prosecuted for that.The AA has also warned that drivers must keep their phone in a location where it does not obstruct their view. This means motorists placing them into a holder attached to a windscreen must make sure that it does not obstruct their view. Drivers wanting to play it safe should keep their phone in the glove compartment and use a regular sat nav.

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Courtesy of the Harrogate Advertiser