England and Man City star John Stones is caught using a mobile phone at the wheel of his £400,000 Rolls Royce SUV supercar in Manchester
England and Manchester City footballer John Stones has been caught using a mobile phone at the wheel of his £400,000 Rolls Royce.
Stones, 27, was spotted holding the device in his right hand as he drove away from the club’s Etihad Campus training ground in Manchester last week.
The defender, who signed for Man City for an initial £47.5million in 2016, was driving through a road junction towards a main road in his Rolls Royce SUV when pictured.
It comes just days before a change to the Highway Code that will see drivers hit with fines of up to £200 and six points on their licence if caught using a mobile phone at the wheel from Saturday.
Last week, former Chelsea player and manager Frank Lampard escaped prosecution after being caught on video driving his 250,000 Mercedes G wagon while holding a coffee and mobile phone in Kensington, west London.
Lampard had been charged with ‘using a handheld mobile phone/device while driving a motor vehicle on a road’.
However, he denied the offence and hired Nick Freeman – a lawyer known as ‘Mr Loophole’ – to defend him.
The Crown Prosecution Service later dropped the case due to ‘insufficient evidence’, despite the footage.
John Stones pictured looking into a blue mobile phone at the wheel of his £400,000 Rolls Royce SUV
The defender was driving through a road junction towards a main road a short distance from Manchester City’s Etihad Campus training ground last week
Stones, wearing his hoodie up, appeared to have one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a mobile phone
It comes just days before a change to the Highway Code that will see drivers hit with fines of up to £200 and six points on their licence if caught using a mobile phone at the wheel
Stones was leaving Man City’s Etihad Campus when he was pictured last week
Phones in cars: What is the law on mobile use?
The law states you can only use a handheld device behind the wheel if the car is safely parked.
This does not include if you are waiting at traffic lights or in a queue.
The only exception is for emergency calls when it is not safe to stop.
Punishment is six penalty points and a £200 fine, or if a driver has passed less than two weeks earlier they can even lose their licence.
Prosecutors believed the video, taken by vigilante cyclist Mike van Erp, did not prove whether the phone was switched on or not.
The current law states drivers can only use a handheld device behind the wheel if the car is safely parked, with the only exception being for emergency calls or if it is ‘unsafe or impractical to stop’.
The law still applies is a driver is stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or supervising a learner driver.
Motorists are able to use a device ‘hands-free’ behind the wheel as a sat-nav if it is secured in a cradle, but can still be charged with a driving offence if police find they are not in proper control of the vehicle.
Announcing the strengthening of existing driving laws in November last year, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Too many deaths and injuries occur while mobile phones are being held.
‘By making it easier to prosecute people illegally using their phone at the wheel, we are ensuring the law is brought into the 21st century while further protecting all road users.
Stones in action during a Premier League match against Everton at the Etihad Stadium in November last year
‘While our roads remain among the safest in the world, we will continue working tirelessly to make them safer.’
The new laws make it illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving under virtually any circumstance, while drivers will be banned from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games later this year.
An exemption will include drivers making a contactless payment using their mobile phone while stationary to ensure driving laws keep pace with developments in technology.
The exemption will cover places such as drive-through restaurants and road tolls.
Mary Williams OBE, Chief Executive of Brake the road safety charity, said: ‘Driver distraction can be deadly and using a handheld phone at the wheel is never worth the risk.
‘This news is particularly welcomed by families suffering bereavement and catastrophic injury due to drivers being distracted by phones.’
A Government survey published on the same day found that ‘younger motorists were generally more likely to have used a handheld mobile phone’ at the wheel despite ‘widespread acknowledgement that mobile phone use is risky and unacceptable’.