A legal loophole enabling drivers to escape prosecution for using a mobile phone to film or take photos will be closed, the Government has announced.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said an urgent review will be carried out to tighten up existing laws on hand-held mobile use by motorists.

Earlier this year Ramsey Barreto successfully appealed against a conviction for filming the scene of a crash while driving after his lawyers argued the rules only relate to using a phone for “interactive communication”.

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The Department for Transport (DfT) said it will revise the legislation so that any driver caught using a hand-held phone behind the wheel can be prosecuted whether they are texting, taking photos, browsing the internet or scrolling through a music playlist.

It expects the proposals to be in place by spring 2020.

Shape Created with Sketch.
UK news in pictures

Shape Created with Sketch.
UK news in pictures

1/50 31 October 2019

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures as launches the party’s election campaign in south London. Britain will go to the polls on December 12

2/50 30 October 2019

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon joins Alyn Smith, the SNP’s candidate for Stirling, at the Made in Stirling Store and Creative Hub, during the general election campaign trail

3/50 29 October 2019

A 1264 locomotive travels through an autumn scene along the North York Moors National Park

4/50 28 October 2019

Paul Hayes of Lower Lydbrook ferries children to dry land after the River Wye burst its banks flooding the Gloucestershire village
Cosplayers during the third day of London’s Comic Con

6/50 26 October 2019

England fans celebrate after their side beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semi-final match in Japan. Eddie Jones’s side won 19-7

7/50 25 October 2019

Meerkats at Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling, investigate a carved pumpkin as the park celebrates national pumpkin day on Saturday October 26.

8/50 24 October 2019

A giant inflatable monster, created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, is unveiled in Manchester ahead of the city’s annual halloween celebrations

9/50 23 October 2019

Thirty-nine bodies have been found in a lorry container in Essex, police have said.

The discovery of 38 adults and one teenager was made at an industrial estate in Thurrock.

Police said they believed the lorry had come from Bulgaria and entered the UK at Holyhead, in Wales, on Saturday.

Essex Police said it had launched a murder investigation after its officers were called to Waterglade Industrial Park, in Grays, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder

10/50 22 October 2019

Ships out at sea before the sun rises off the coast of Whitley Bay, Northumberland

11/50 21 October 2019

Hundreds of students take part in the traditional Raisin Monday foam fight on St Salvator’s Lower College Lawn at the University of St Andrews in Fife. The messy display is the culmination of a weekend of festivities where first years say thank you to their more senior student “parents” for mentoring them

12/50 20 October 2019

Wales players celebrate after beating France in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Japan. Warren Gatland’s side had to battle after France’s fast start but capitalised on their rivals’ ill discipline to squeeze into the semi-finals, 20-19

13/50 19 October 2019

People gather in London to join the Final Say march for a people’s vote

14/50 18 October 2019

Protesters on Whitehall in London during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest

15/50 17 October 2019

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands during a news conference after agreeing on a Brexit deal, in Brussels

16/50 16 October 2019

A man walks his dog through the fallen leaves in Clarkes Gardens, Allerton in Liverpool

17/50 15 October 2019

Police officers carry away an activist as Extinction Rebellion protesters block a road with a caravan in central London

18/50 14 October 2019

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign’s throne ahead of delivering the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament

19/50 13 October 2019

Great Britain’s Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He claimed GB’s second gold with his victory. The 20-year-old from Birmingham nailed his routine to score 15.0 then watched as a series of rivals failed to live up to his total

20/50 12 October 2019

St Helens players celebrate with the trophy after they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester. They beat Salford Red Devils 23-6

21/50 11 October 2019

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Tehran since 2016, holds his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London. Their five-year-old daughter has arrived back in Britain, after making the “bittersweet” decision to bring her home

22/50 10 October 2019

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor. Their meeting focused on further Brexit proposals

23/50 9 October 2019

Wales survived an almighty scare against Fiji to secure quarter-final spot at the rugby world cup. Warren Gatland’s side recovered from a 10-0 deficit thanks to a hat-trick from Josh Adams

24/50 8 October 2019

Protesters dubbed the Red Rebels at Millbank at the junction with Great College Street, during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster

25/50 7 October 2019

Final preparations are made in front of a reproduction of Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’, ahead of the opening of for the ‘Michelangelo: A Different View’ exhibition at Hull Minister

26/50 6 October 2019

A car drives through a flooded street in Whitley Bay in Northumberland

27/50 5 October 2019

Thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh today to march in support of a second Scottish independence referendum

28/50 4 October 2019

A 12ft sculpture of a gorilla, entitled ‘Gorilla Apocalypse’, created by Luke Kite entirely from scrap car bumpers and panels discarded in the last decade is on display at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire

29/50 3 October 2019

Police stands in front of the Treasury building during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London

30/50 2 October 2019

Ex-Thomas Cook employees demonstrate in London after delivering a petition calling for a full inquiry into Thomas Cook’s collapse and for the company’s directors to pay back their bonuses

31/50 1 October 2019

A road in Alum Rock, Birmingham is flooded after persistent heavy rain

32/50 30 September 2019

Two tourists pose for pictures in front of Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London

33/50 29 September 2019

A sheep on London Bridge as Freemen of the City of London took up their historic entitlement to drive sheep over the bridge, which was once London’s only river crossing

34/50 28 September 2019

An Aldabra giant tortoise is fed watermelon as a treat at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern in Worcestershire

35/50 27 September 2019

Gallery assistants pose with an artwork entitled ‘Devolved Parliament’ by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London ahead of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair

36/50 26 September 2019

England’s Jonathan Joseph is tackled by United State’s Marcel Brache during their group match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. England scored seven tries on their way to winning 45-7

37/50 25 September 2019

Tributes for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox Stadium. Today, the funeral procession will pass Ibrox Stadium before making the journey to Wellington Church

38/50 24 September 2019

A person dressed as a caricature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a prison uniform stands outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal

39/50 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook aircraft are parked up at Manchester Airport on the day they collapsed after rescue talks failed. A total of 22,000 jobs – including 9,000 in UK – are to be lost following administration. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge

40/50 22 September 2019

Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND – the Mental Health Charity

41/50 21 September 2019

Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by “The People’s Vote” in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit

42/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history

43/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo

44/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast

45/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland

46/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween

47/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay

49/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain

50/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test

1/50 31 October 2019

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures as launches the party’s election campaign in south London. Britain will go to the polls on December 12

2/50 30 October 2019

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon joins Alyn Smith, the SNP’s candidate for Stirling, at the Made in Stirling Store and Creative Hub, during the general election campaign trail

3/50 29 October 2019

A 1264 locomotive travels through an autumn scene along the North York Moors National Park

4/50 28 October 2019

Paul Hayes of Lower Lydbrook ferries children to dry land after the River Wye burst its banks flooding the Gloucestershire village
Cosplayers during the third day of London’s Comic Con

6/50 26 October 2019

England fans celebrate after their side beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semi-final match in Japan. Eddie Jones’s side won 19-7

7/50 25 October 2019

Meerkats at Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling, investigate a carved pumpkin as the park celebrates national pumpkin day on Saturday October 26.

8/50 24 October 2019

A giant inflatable monster, created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, is unveiled in Manchester ahead of the city’s annual halloween celebrations

9/50 23 October 2019

Thirty-nine bodies have been found in a lorry container in Essex, police have said.

The discovery of 38 adults and one teenager was made at an industrial estate in Thurrock.

Police said they believed the lorry had come from Bulgaria and entered the UK at Holyhead, in Wales, on Saturday.

Essex Police said it had launched a murder investigation after its officers were called to Waterglade Industrial Park, in Grays, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A 25-year-old-man from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder

10/50 22 October 2019

Ships out at sea before the sun rises off the coast of Whitley Bay, Northumberland

11/50 21 October 2019

Hundreds of students take part in the traditional Raisin Monday foam fight on St Salvator’s Lower College Lawn at the University of St Andrews in Fife. The messy display is the culmination of a weekend of festivities where first years say thank you to their more senior student “parents” for mentoring them

12/50 20 October 2019

Wales players celebrate after beating France in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Japan. Warren Gatland’s side had to battle after France’s fast start but capitalised on their rivals’ ill discipline to squeeze into the semi-finals, 20-19

13/50 19 October 2019

People gather in London to join the Final Say march for a people’s vote

14/50 18 October 2019

Protesters on Whitehall in London during an Extinction Rebellion climate change protest

15/50 17 October 2019

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands during a news conference after agreeing on a Brexit deal, in Brussels

16/50 16 October 2019

A man walks his dog through the fallen leaves in Clarkes Gardens, Allerton in Liverpool

17/50 15 October 2019

Police officers carry away an activist as Extinction Rebellion protesters block a road with a caravan in central London

18/50 14 October 2019

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign’s throne ahead of delivering the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament

19/50 13 October 2019

Great Britain’s Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He claimed GB’s second gold with his victory. The 20-year-old from Birmingham nailed his routine to score 15.0 then watched as a series of rivals failed to live up to his total

20/50 12 October 2019

St Helens players celebrate with the trophy after they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester. They beat Salford Red Devils 23-6

21/50 11 October 2019

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Tehran since 2016, holds his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London. Their five-year-old daughter has arrived back in Britain, after making the “bittersweet” decision to bring her home

22/50 10 October 2019

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor. Their meeting focused on further Brexit proposals

23/50 9 October 2019

Wales survived an almighty scare against Fiji to secure quarter-final spot at the rugby world cup. Warren Gatland’s side recovered from a 10-0 deficit thanks to a hat-trick from Josh Adams

24/50 8 October 2019

Protesters dubbed the Red Rebels at Millbank at the junction with Great College Street, during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster

25/50 7 October 2019

Final preparations are made in front of a reproduction of Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’, ahead of the opening of for the ‘Michelangelo: A Different View’ exhibition at Hull Minister

26/50 6 October 2019

A car drives through a flooded street in Whitley Bay in Northumberland

27/50 5 October 2019

Thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh today to march in support of a second Scottish independence referendum

28/50 4 October 2019

A 12ft sculpture of a gorilla, entitled ‘Gorilla Apocalypse’, created by Luke Kite entirely from scrap car bumpers and panels discarded in the last decade is on display at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire

29/50 3 October 2019

Police stands in front of the Treasury building during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London

30/50 2 October 2019

Ex-Thomas Cook employees demonstrate in London after delivering a petition calling for a full inquiry into Thomas Cook’s collapse and for the company’s directors to pay back their bonuses

31/50 1 October 2019

A road in Alum Rock, Birmingham is flooded after persistent heavy rain

32/50 30 September 2019

Two tourists pose for pictures in front of Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London

33/50 29 September 2019

A sheep on London Bridge as Freemen of the City of London took up their historic entitlement to drive sheep over the bridge, which was once London’s only river crossing

34/50 28 September 2019

An Aldabra giant tortoise is fed watermelon as a treat at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern in Worcestershire

35/50 27 September 2019

Gallery assistants pose with an artwork entitled ‘Devolved Parliament’ by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London ahead of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair

36/50 26 September 2019

England’s Jonathan Joseph is tackled by United State’s Marcel Brache during their group match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. England scored seven tries on their way to winning 45-7

37/50 25 September 2019

Tributes for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox Stadium. Today, the funeral procession will pass Ibrox Stadium before making the journey to Wellington Church

38/50 24 September 2019

A person dressed as a caricature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a prison uniform stands outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal

39/50 23 September 2019

Thomas Cook aircraft are parked up at Manchester Airport on the day they collapsed after rescue talks failed. A total of 22,000 jobs – including 9,000 in UK – are to be lost following administration. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge

40/50 22 September 2019

Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND – the Mental Health Charity

41/50 21 September 2019

Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by “The People’s Vote” in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit

42/50 20 September 2019

Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history

43/50 19 September 2019

Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo

44/50 18 September 2019

A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast

45/50 17 September 2019

Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland

46/50 16 September 2019

Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween

47/50 15 September 2019

Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay

49/50 13 September 2019

Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain

50/50 12 September 2019

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test

The action follows  Select Committee which urged the Government to introduce tougher restrictions on using a mobile phone while driving.

The committee also recommended that ministers should consider a ban on hands-free use, but the DfT said there are no plans to introduce such a measure.

In 2018, there were 683 casualties on Britain’s roads – including 29 deaths and 118 serious injuries – in crashes where a driver using a mobile was a contributory factor.

Since March 2017, motorists caught using a hand-held phone have faced incurring six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous penalty of three points and £100.

Mr Shapps said drivers who use a hand-held mobile phone are putting lives at risk by “hindering their ability to spot hazards and react in time”.

He continued: “This review will look to tighten up the existing law to bring it into the 21st century, preventing reckless driving and reduce accidents on our roads.”

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Labour MP Lilian Greenwood, who chairs the committee, described the announcement as “great news” but warned that “the risk from hands-free devices is just as real”.

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She added: “While we’re pleased that ministers will prioritise work on hand-held mobiles, this issue still needs to be addressed.”

RAC road safety spokesman Simon Williams warned that tightening the rules on phone use is “only as powerful as the level of enforcement”.

He said: “In the absence of technology being used to catch offenders, the decline in the number of road police officers means there is a much lesser chance of being caught in person today than there was 10 years ago.”

Press Association