New penalty for drivers caught using mobile phone – The best Bluetooth headsets

The law recently changed for penalties given to drivers caught on their mobile phone behind the wheel. If you own a driving licence it comes with a lot of responsibility: the lives of pedestrians, your passengers, other drivers and not to forget your own life!

It’s illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device whilst driving or riding a motorcycle. It’s crucial to stay focused on the road at all times and to remain in full control of your vehicle. The rules also apply if you’re stationary at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

If caught on your phone you can now get 6 penalty points on your driving licence – an instant driving ban for new drivers and in addition to the points there’s a fine of £200. Your case may go to court and you could be disqualified and receive a maximum fine of £1,000. Approximately 1,780 people are killed on roads in Great Britain each year and there were a staggering 187,050 casualties year ending March 2016.

Are there any exceptions to using a phone in your vehicle?

The only occasions where the driver is permitted to use a phone in a vehicle is:

  • If you need to call the emergency services (999 or 112) and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
  • If you are safely parked and your engine is turned off

If your vehicle doesn’t have built-in hands free then you need to start using a Bluetooth ear piece or headset.

3 of the best Bluetooth headsets:

Plantronics Voyager Edge

voyager edge

This Bluetooth headset is perfect for on-the-go individuals and with up to 16 hours of battery life (with the charging case) it’s certainly powerful. The Voyager Edge is light, comfortable and eliminates disruptive background for those all-important calls. It can keep you updated with audio alerts and syncs to your contacts so you know who’s calling without needing to look at your phone. Additionally the voice command feature makes it easy to control incoming calls and with its smart sensor technology it detects if it’s being worn and can automatically answer calls as you place the headset on.

The Voyager Edge is a good all-rounder and the silicone gel ear tips come in 3 different sizes to help you find the best fit.

Jabra Eclipse

Jabra EclipseJabra EclipseThe Jabra Eclipse has a slim and sleek design which combines elegance with sophistication to keep you looking smart. The Jabra offers supreme sound quality from its music-grade speaker making your conversations so clear it’s as if you’re actually there. Furthermore it connects with Siri and Google Now so you can simply leave your phone in your pocket whilst you remain connected to phone calls, texts, e-mail and music.

The Jabra Eclipse is light, compact and discreet. It has the ability to charge in your pocket with the portable charger carry case which boosts your Eclipse’s battery life for an additional 7 hours giving a total of 10 hours talk time. If the Jabra Eclipse is a little out of your budget try the Jabra Stealth.

Jawbone Era

The Jawbone Era first came out in 2011 and was redesigned in 2014. Its stylish design makes it a popular choice for the fashion-conscious and being small and lightweight provides additional comfort. The Era is available in a range of colours and also comes with different sized ear tips so you can find the best fit for you. Thanks to noise cancellation technology it demolishes as much background noise as possible making call quality the best it can be. The battery life lasts up to 4 hours and you can also purchase the charging case which can add an extra 6 hours of battery.

A great benefit to using the Jawbone Era is that it works alongside the Jawbone MyTalk app allowing you to listen to your incoming text messages as well as create messages and emails by simply speaking to it.

The Jawbone Era has an accelerometer that allows you to answer a call with two shakes of the headset and it’s four shakes to pair the headset with your phone. If you receive an incoming call simply tap the headset twice.

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