What are the laws of using a two way radio on the road

The foundations on the usage of 2 way radios and cell phones whilst driving a vehicle are quite different, the rule has been law since 2003 with the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003, the law was put into place to boost road safety, after the emergence of mobile phones becoming affordable and popular, the need for some kind of legislation cut back the use of mobile phones, two way radios and any type of hand-held communication devices used whilst a vehicle is being driven. The penalty of the rules are outlined here –


“It is a specific offence to use a hand–held phone or similar device, when driving. Most offences will be dealt with by way of 3 penalty points and a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice but if the matter proceeds to a Court hearing, the fine can be as much as £1,000 or £2,500 if you were driving a bus, coach or any heavy goods vehicle”



Hands free equipment is excluded from this regulation, and is merely accepted if it could be operated without holding it in the hand. “Pushing buttons on a phone while it is in the cradle or around the steering wheel or handlebars of a bike for example isn’t prohibited by this offence” it is recognized that two way radio earpieces are designed with a push-to-talk (PTT) method, implying that the use of earpieces is actually against the law. 2003 saw the Change of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 110 outlined the law –


110.—(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

(2) No person shall cause or permit any other person to drive a motor vehicle on a road while that other person is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4).

(3) No person shall supervise a holder of a provisional licence if the person supervising is using—

(a)a hand-held mobile telephone; or

(b)a hand-held device of a kind specified in paragraph (4),

at a time when the provisional licence holder is driving a motor vehicle on a road.

(4) A device referred to in paragraphs (1)(b), (2)(b) and (3)(b) is a device, other than a two-way radio, which performs an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data.

(source: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2003/2695/regulation/2/made)


The conclusive section of this law is section (4) that seems to exonerate the usage of two way radios whilst driving, it separates hand held device from a two way radio, and later on in the rule classifies 2 way radios.


“two-way radio” means any wireless telegraphy apparatus which is designed or adapted—

(i)for the purpose of transmitting and receiving spoken messages; and

(ii)to operate 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;


The premise of this short article was to determine if using a two way radio is legal to use whilst driving, it is obvious that the use of a two way radio is the same distraction to a cell phone, the use of a 2 way radio anyone can still be prosecuted under the careless driving, Driving without Due Consideration and Dangerous Driving legislation, but this isn’t specific to 2 way radios as a hand-full of drivers have been prosecuted for using hands free kits and a mobile phone, even though the equipment used has fallen within the Road Vehicles Regulations 2003. But it is quite clear inside the regulations that 2 way radios have a specific rule applied and is specifically singled out within the rulings.