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Drivers can use their phones at a petrol station in some environments such as in the shop or when they are sitting inside their vehicle. However, the Uk Petrol Industry Association (UKPIA) warns that it is still prohibited to use a device in many areas.
This included particularly sensitive areas such as neater the filler point when a pump is in use.
Phones should also not be used in the “immediate vicinity of a fuel dispenser” except in clearly identified non-hazardous areas.
Drivers have also been warned to not use their devices in the immediate vicinity of tank fuel points or near a fuel tanker when it is unloading.
The UKPIA says drivers should be careful to use devices in some areas simply because they have not been certified to use in “explosive atmospheres”.
They warn that mobile devices are ”not intrinsically safe” despite admitting that the risk of an explosion is low.
A statement from the UKPIA said: “Mobile phones are not designed and certified for use in explosive atmospheres which exist temporarily around the pump and nozzle during refuelling as well as around the fill and vent pipes during petrol deliveries.
“Whilst the risk of incendive sparking from mobile phones is low, they are not intrinsically safe devices and should not be used in those hazardous areas that exist on a forecourt.”
They add: “Generally, there is no need to restrict the use of mobile telephones in other areas of the forecourt.
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“Such as in the shop, in parked motor vehicles or in other traffic-free, non-hazardous areas.”
The UKPIA has warned that there have been unsubstantiated reports of mobile phones causing fires at filling stations.
However, they admit there has been no evidence of mobile phones causing an ignition.
The UKPIA has also warned that using phones on forecourts could create a “serious distraction”.
They warn that “minimising distractions” is key to forecourt safety with phones possibly increasing the risk of accidents.
This could be through crossing the forecourt and not looking at traffic leaving pumps or by accidentally dispensing too much fuel.
However, there are no laws in place regarding using mobile phones at petrol station forecourts.
Instead, it is down to individuals to set their own rules on whether you can use a device with staff forced to take their own actions.
It is possible that road users could have their fuel pump cut off if they are using a device while filling up.
Alternatively, drivers may just be shouted at over the tannoy until they have stopped and put their phone away.
However, road users could be breaking the law if they use their phone inside their car while the engine is running.
A study from LeaseCar.UK found that drivers who play with their phone before leaving the forecourt are one of motorists’ biggest pet hates.
The car leasing service urges drivers to find a safe and quiet place away from the pump if they need to check their phone to avoid annoying other road users.
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