West Mercia clamping down on motorists using mobile phones whilst driving - The Evesham Observer

West Mercia clamping down on motorists using mobile phones whilst driving

Evesham Editorial 6th Feb, 2021   0

POLICE are urging motorists not to be tempted to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving, as part of a national campaign.

It is not only illegal to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving or while stopped with the engine on, but it is also one of the ‘fatal 4’ factors that contribute towards death and injury alongside not wearing a seatbelt, drink and drug driving and speeding.

Since 2018 there have been 2 deaths, 14 serious injuries and 60 minor injuries in West Mercia where mobile phone use was recorded as a contributory factor.

As part of the campaign motorists are being urged to really consider the impact using a mobile phone has on their driving ability, whether this is hand held or hands free and for all use, not just calls.

Whilst hands free is still legal, it is still a distraction and has been proven that drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision, are far less likely to notice or react to hazards, show poor lane discipline and display variable speed choices.

If being distracted is leading to dangerous driving behaviour then enforcement can still be an option whether hands free or not.

For some people ensuring that your mobile phone is kept out of easy reach or turning your mobile off whilst driving is an easy way of avoiding the temptation.

Motorists caught using a mobile phone could face a £200 fine and six points on their licence. Drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban – which could also then lead to a £1,000 fine.

While new drivers – those who have passed within the last two years – face having their licence revoked if caught just once.

The plea comes after it was revealed more than 4,000 dangerous driving incidents were reported across the West Mercia Police force area by motorists submitting dash cam footage.

The figures, from a dash cam manufacturer, found the area was the second highest for the tip-offs, bettered only by West Midlands Police which had over 7,000.

Meanwhile the RAC 2020 Report on Motoring identified handheld mobile phone use by other drivers as the second biggest driver concern in 2020.

Supt Mel Crowther for West Mercia Police said: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm.

“We are urging those motorists who currently use a phone behind the wheel, whether hand held or hands free to really consider the impact of this on their safety and the safety of other road users, especially at this time of increased demand on emergency services.

“When you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert and we will be doing all we can to ensure our roads are kept safe.”



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