As tougher penalties begin for drivers using mobile phones, Waze, the free, real-time sat nav app gives advice on how to not fall foul of the new laws

As of this week, newly qualified drivers will lose their licence if caught using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel, under tougher penalties that come into force in England, Scotland and Wales. Penalty points and fines for using a phone while driving will double to six points and £200, in what the government said it hoped would act as a strong deterrent to what motoring organisations call an “epidemic” on the roads.

But, with sat nav apps on our phones being an essential part of beating the daily traffic, Finlay Clark, the UK's head of Waze, the free crowd-sourced real-time, sat nav app, is giving drivers essential advice on how to safely use a sat nav on a hand held device safely and legally behind the wheel.

  1. Programme your route before you turn your engine on. Waze has a function whereby you can include multiple destinations so you do not have to needlessly touch your phone.  You can also allow your friends to follow your route in real-time so if you're both off to the same place Waze will tell you if they're running ahead or you or behind you - so no need to text them.
  2. Speed.  Waze has accurate road speed limits for all major roads in the UK, and will alert you if you are over the speed limit for a particular stretch of road.  This is designed to educate drivers on the speeds on the road where in lieu of road signs.  The app will also give visual and audio prompts about upcoming speed cameras and hazards on the road.
  3. Voice control. Waze enables you to complete many functions with voice alone, such as speaking the place or address you're travelling to, and removing the need to type.  Waze is smart enough to pick up local dialects with accents so no matter where you're from in the UK, it'll be able to guide you to your destination just by speaking to it. 

Hopefully these tips will certainly help to keep touching the phone to an absolute minimum.

With the driving test changing later this year to reflect the skills required to use a sat nav safely at the wheel,  Waze are encouraging drivers to take heed of the new laws and limit the amount of time you interact with your phone whilst driving.

Waze provides peace of mind by suggesting the fastest and most optimal route possible to any destination, by tracking real-time traffic and road conditions from drivers’ phones - thus saving other local drivers time and fuel. Join this community today by downloading the free Waze app for iOS or Android at