Skip to main content

Driving: TV Interviews

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 5 December 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is against the law for a person to be interviewed on television while driving a vehicle on a public road; and, if so, whether television companies have been made aware of the law.[HL627]

There is no specific offence. However, it is an offence if a person drives or causes or permits any other person to drive,

“if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead”,

under Regulation 104 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

The police use that to deal with cases of poor driving where the driver has been distracted for any reason (eg, eating, drinking, using a hands-free phone, speaking to camera, et cetera). Should there be a crash or incident, depending upon the circumstances, there might be a prosecution on the more serious charges of driving without due care and attention or dangerous driving.

Advice for all road users on distractions is set down in Rules 148 to 150 of the Highway Code (available from www.direct.gov.uk). Specific advice for broadcasters is in the booklet Presenting Road Safety: A Guide for the Media, published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents with support from the department—that is available online at www.rospa.com/roadsafety/info/roadmedia.pdf. Under the heading “Bad Practice” it includes, “Drivers having long conversations with a passenger, or speaking to camera, without watching the road ahead”.