Texting while driving a big no-no in Sweden
By FFE EU News Staff
Sweden’s ‘texting at the wheel’ law has just been imposed on Sunday and while officers are still unsure about the finer points of the rule, drivers are better off following it now than waiting for a fine.
Until Sunday, Swedes were allowed to use their mobile phones while driving even without hands-free devices. This means drivers were free to text and talk on their mobiles while cruising. With the amendment in place, drivers are now prohibited to use their GPS and mobile phones in any manner that could be detrimental to driving.
Swedish Transit Authority (Transportstyrelsen) clarified that ‘There is no mobile ban. It is only if it is detrimental to the actual driving, and what that means is up to the police.’
However, the police admit they have not been given a clear set of guidelines to determine if mobile use is already detrimental to driving. The national police force’s traffic unit said ‘We have really no instructions. We won’t see the practical significance until after a few convictions.’
Last year, the Swedish National Road and Transport Institute (Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut-VTI) said there was no reason to ban mobile use even without hands-free devices while driving.
European countries that still allow the use of mobile phones while driving include Albania, Serbia, Moldova and Malta.