Police step up crackdown on drivers using mobiles - The Evesham Observer

Police step up crackdown on drivers using mobiles

Evesham Editorial 30th Jan, 2017   0

WEST Mercia and Warwickshire Police, along with the Safer Roads Partnership, are continuing their clampdown on drivers using their mobile phones at the wheel.

The organisations, in support of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) mobile phone week of action, are reminding motorists to avoid deadly distractions by seeking out anyone who flouts the law.

During the last national NPCC campaign in November, 695 motorists in the two force areas were caught using their mobile phone at the wheel by police and issued with on-the-spot fines.

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving has steadily increased over the years and is now a £100 fine and three penalty points on the caught driver’s licence.

But the Government has announced that will double to six points and a £200 fine when new legislation comes into force in March.

Using a mobile phone while driving is a potentially fatal distraction and has been an illegal offence since December 2003.

Studies show drivers using a mobile react slower to hazards and even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or a text – a split-second lapse in concentration can result in a crash.

Supt Daryn Elton, of the Warwickshire and West Mercia forces, said mobile phone enforcement was already part of the police’s daily job but they welcomed these national crackdowns to catch motorists who blatantly ignored the law and the dangers.

“Many motorists are already aware that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal.

“This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media, and applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

“With smartphones becoming more and more embedded into our daily routines, we are all aware of how useful they can be. “However, it is unacceptable to allow yourself to be distracted by them while driving, and officers will ensure any motorists doing so face the penalties involved.”

He added the police are asking people to think about the consequences of their actions and how they would feel if they caused a crash that injured or killed somebody else for the sake of making a call, reading a text or checking social media.


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