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

The foundations on the use of two way radios and cellphones whilst operating a vehicle are sort of 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 cell phones becoming inexpensive and popular, the requirement for some kind of legislation limit the usage of cell phones, two way radios and any other kind 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 disqualified from this rule, and is simply accepted if it could be operated without holding it with the hand. “Pushing buttons on the phone while it’s in the cradle or about the steering wheel or handlebars of a motorbike for example isn’t prohibited by this offence” it is well known that two way radio earpieces are designed on a push-to-talk (PTT) system, implying that using earpieces is generally prohibited. 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 certain part of this rule is section (4) that does exonerate the usage of two way radios whilst driving, it separates hand held device from a 2 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 premise of this short article was to see if the use of a two way radio is lawful to use whilst driving, it is apparent that using a 2 way radio is the same distraction to a cell phone, the use of a 2 way radio a person 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 mobile phone, even if the equipment used has fallen within the Road Vehicles Regulations 2003. But it is kind of clear throughout the regulations that 2 way radios have a unique rule applied and is specifically singled out in the rulings.