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It is an offence to use a hand held mobile phone or an "interactive communications device", but there is an exemption for a two way radio which is designed or adapted -

  • for the purpose of transmitting and receiving spoken messages; and
  • operates on any frequency other than 880 MHz to 915 MHz, 925 MHz to 960 MHz, 1710 MHz to 1785 MHz, 1805 MHz to 1880 MHz, 1900 MHz to 1980 MHz or 2110 MHz to 2170 MHz.

Ofcom states that you should be transmitting CB in the 27MHz range, if you are, you come within the exception and are OK. The exception was created because so many government and private organisations (e.g. taxis) use 2 way radios.

However, there is strong scientific evidence that any such activity (including fiddling with your CD player etc.) does raise the level of danger so far as accidents are concerned, so it is recommended that you do whatever you can to minimise use of transmitter buttons, tuning devices and volume controls. If something akin to hands free exists it would be a good idea.

Even if the device you are using does not fall within the mobile phone legislation, with or without hands free, if you can't control your vehicle properly or are driving badly, you can be prosecuted for not being in proper control of your vehicle, careless driving or dangerous driving, the latter two offences carry much higher penalties. If you kill someone in an accident caused by phoning or texting or using a CB etc. you can expect a lengthy sentence of imprisonment.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.