What are the rules of using a 2 way radio on the road

The rules on the usage of 2 way radios and cell phones whilst operating a automobile are sort of different, the regulation 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 inexpensive and trendy, the necessity for some sort of legislation limit the usage of cell phones, two way radios and any other type of hand-held communication devices used whilst a automobile 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 gear is excluded from this law, and is only accepted if it could be operated without holding it in the hand. “Pushing buttons on a phone while it’s in the cradle or about the steering wheel or handlebars of a motorbike for instance is not prohibited by this offence” its well known that two way radio earpieces are designed with a push-to-talk (PTT) system, implying that the use of earpieces is actually illegal. 2003 saw the Amendment 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 certain section of this rule is section (4) that does 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 two 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 idea of this post was to see if using a two way radio is lawful to use when driving, it is apparent that the use of a two way radio is a similar distraction to a mobile phone, the use of a 2 way radio an individual 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 with a cell phone, despite the fact that the equipment used has fallen within the Road Vehicles Regulations 2003. However it is sort of clear inside the regulations that 2 way radios have a unique rule applied and is specifically singled out in the rulings.