What is an 'interactive communications device'?

  • JDi's Avatar
    Hi all,

    I have a specific question as to what constitutes an 'interactive communications device' under the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022, or other relevant UK Road legislation.

    Would a handheld DAB Radio fall under this definition? I have attached a picture of the device to this thread. It is not capable of accessing the internet.

    I won't really be taking the risk and using it whilst driving in any instance (i.e. pressing the buttons or holding it), I just wondered if it would be legal for me to have it switched on and stored in the door compartment and have my earphones connected to it?

    It seems a bit of a grey area as to what constitutes an 'interactive communications device' and I would rather not take the risk and use it in any instance, but just wanted to ask as I am rather curious if a DAB Radio (that cannot access the internet) is classed as an 'interactive communications device'.

    Thanks for any comments!
  • 7 Replies

  • Best Answer

    Santa's Avatar
    Best Answer
    Usually, the interactive communication function is that of transmitting and/or receiving data such as making or receiving a call, sending or reading a text message or accessing the internet.

    AFIK, if you only use it for receiving messages, it is no different to an ordinary car radio or hands-free phone. As soon as you pick it up to "press a button", you would be breaking the law.

    Think about why the law exists. People who are dividing their attention between driving and handling a communication device are more likely to be involved in an accident, either by making a mistake or by not taking avoiding action when someone else does.

    You can use a two-way radio if it is installed into the vehicle and if it is used in a hands-free manner. This means that the device must be in a fixed position and the driver must not hold it while driving.

    https://www.ctsradios.co.uk/blogs/ne...hile%20driving.
  • Rolebama's Avatar
    Basically, if you have to physically touch something, it is a no-no as far as the law is concerned. Voice-activated systems seem to be becoming the norm now.
  • JDi's Avatar
    Basically, if you have to physically touch something, it is a no-no as far as the law is concerned. Voice-activated systems seem to be becoming the norm now.

    Thanks both.

    im not sure why the image failed to upload but this was the device I was talking about:

    https://www.robertsradio.com/en-gb/s...ab5#sportsdab5
  • JDi's Avatar
    Usually, the interactive communication function is that of transmitting and/or receiving data such as making or receiving a call, sending or reading a text message or accessing the internet.

    AFIK, if you only use it for receiving messages, it is no different to an ordinary car radio or hands-free phone. As soon as you pick it up to "press a button", you would be breaking the law.

    Think about why the law exists. People who are dividing their attention between driving and handling a communication device are more likely to be involved in an accident, either by making a mistake or by not taking avoiding action when someone else does.



    https://www.ctsradios.co.uk/blogs/ne...hile%20driving.

    Thanks, @Santa

    This was the device I was talking about. The photo didn’t upload!

    https://www.robertsradio.com/en-gb/s...ab5#sportsdab5
  • Santa's Avatar
    @JDi So it is just a small radio receiver.

    This means that it is no different to the radio in my car. Mine has controls on the steering wheel, but many don't and they are still legal.

    After reading the reviews of that device, I certainly wouldn't pay £65 for it.
  • JDi's Avatar
    @JDi So it is just a small radio receiver.

    This means that it is no different to the radio in my car. Mine has controls on the steering wheel, but many don't and they are still legal.

    After reading the reviews of that device, I certainly wouldn't pay £65 for it.

    Hi @Santa, yes it is just a DAB Radio Receiver.

    I can get it for cheaper on eBay second-hand!

    So would it be legal for me to have this switched on, stored in the drivers door compartment and wired earphones connected to it? I am just unsure as it is a handheld device - it won't be fixed to the car in any way.

    I like listening to some Digital Radio stations (e.g. 5 Live, LBC) but my car only has an FM Radio installed.

    The device itself has five buttons on the top of it where you can store your favourite five stations. Would it be legal if I was to press one of these buttons whilst driving?

    I'm just curious as to if I would be able to use this device at all when driving, and how I may be able to do so.

    I am unlikely to want to change stations whilst driving, but just good to know regarding the legalities anyway as I am not sure if this device falls under the 'interactive communications device' definition.

    I am most likely not going to take the risk and use it any way (certainly not changing stations) as I would worry that I could be caught using it and then find myself in an awkward position where I would have to argue (potentially in Court) that it was a radio and not a mobile phone I was touching.
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    It's clearly not interactive.

    However, using earphones while driving isn't advisable, as it means you may not hear sirens, horns etc.

    BTW LBC is on FM too.