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Driving while using mobile phone, Glasgow JP Court, 17 August 2015

Our client was charged with driving while using his mobile phone. The police officers contended that they saw the phone in our client’s hand and that his thumb was moving over the screen. They thereafter gave evidence that our client purportedly told them under caution that he was using the phone to change a music track. Our view was that this would not constitute ‘use’ in terms of the relevant legislation for driving while using a mobile phone. However the court did not need to consider our submission in respect of this as it accepted another submission that there was a lack of conjunction of evidence between the two police officers to the extent that they did not corroborate each other. All of these discrepancies were unearthed during our cross-examination of the officers. The case is a valuable reminder that, while legal ‘loopholes’ can be invaluable in cases of driving while using a mobile phone, often cases are won the ‘old-fashioned’ way by undermining the reliability of the  Crown evidence through cross-examination. This is particularly true in cases of driving while using a mobile phone when the Crown are often relying on nothing more than eye-witness evidence lasting a second or two.