Why you could be hit with a £200 fine for using your phone in the front passenger seat

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Motorists could be hit with a £200 fine for using a mobile phone in the car - while being a passenger.

Passengers in the UK can be fined £200 and hit with six penalty points in exactly the same way a driver can.

Don't get a fine.... Photo: West Yorkshire Police

Don't get a fine.... Photo: West Yorkshire Police

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The fine applies when a passenger is using their mobile phone in the front passenger seat while supervising a learner driver.

The person instructing a learner driver is legally responsible for it, and all road laws that normally apply to a driver also equally apply to the instructor in the passenger seat.

Which means it's illegal for the instructor to even touch their phone while the vehicle is switched on and another person is being taught to drive.

Not only does it apply to paid driving instructors, but to anyone, like a friend or family member of a new driver supervising a lesson.

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What the law says on supervising a learner driver

Gov.uk says: "Anyone you practise your driving with (without paying them) must:

*be over 21

*be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in, eg they must have a manual car licence if they’re supervising you in a manual car

*have had their full driving licence for 3 years (from countries in the European Union or European Economic Area)

*You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you drive without the right supervision.

*You can drive with as many passengers as the vehicle can legally hold.

*It’s illegal for your friend or family member to use a mobile phone while supervising you.

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What insurance do you need to supervise a learner driver practising in a car you own?

*You need your own insurance as a learner driver if you’re practising in a car you own. Your family member or friend will usually be covered on this.

*If you’re practising in someone else’s car, you need to make sure their insurance policy covers you as a learner driver.

*Some insurance companies require the person supervising you to be over 25 years old.

*You can get an unlimited fine, be banned from driving and get up to 8 penalty points for driving without insurance.