A CHANGE in the law could be very costly for drivers who browse their music collection or take pictures while driving.

Since 2003, it has been an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone or similar hand-held device while driving in Great Britain.

But the law is specified as using a hand-held device for ‘interactive communication’: principally phone-calls and messages or accessing the internet.

In one case, a driver who was filming a nearby road accident while at the wheel was found not guilty because they were not using a hand-held mobile phone for ‘interactive communication’. The judge said they were therefore out of the scope of this offence.

To bring the law up to date with advances in technology, almost any mobile phone interaction could now be breaking the law.

And Cumbria Police have said it is better to be safe than sorry.

A spokesman for Cumbria Police said: “Driving while distracted can have devastating consequences – whether it is being distracted by a mobile phone or something else.

“Put your phone in the safest possible place for your journey – inside the glove compartment.

“Nothing is that urgent that you put your life, or the life of others at risk.

“If you do need to check your phone or take a call find a safe space to stop or put your phone away or on do not disturb."

The fine for breaking the law has also increased. Previously, the maximum fine was £200, but this could now be as high as £1,000.

There are just two exemptions to the law.

As well as an existing exemption which allows a driver to use a phone in emergencies, the new law creates one new exemption.

Drivers will be permitted to hold and use a device while driving to make a contactless payment at a payment terminal for goods or services, as long as the car is stationary while doing so.