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Warwickshire Police continue crack down on drivers using a mobile phone

Warwickshire Police, the Safer Roads Partnership and National Fire Chiefs Council are supporting the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) mobile phone week of action this week (22nd - 28th January), by targeting motorists who continue to use their handheld mobile phone at the wheel.

It's nearly a year (March 2017) since new legislation was introduced, increasing both the fine and licence points if caught using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel. Motorists caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving 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. Since March 2017, 420 drivers in Warwickshire have been caught using their mobile phone whilst at the wheel.

Since 2015 to 2017 across Warwickshire 13 people were seriously injured in collisions where use of a mobile phone whilst driving was a causation factor.

Towards the end of last year the Department for Transport launched a new national campaign under the THINK! Banner asking drivers to put their phone away by highlighting just what you miss when you glance at your phone http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html The campaign highlights that it only takes a few seconds of distraction to change lives forever. The campaign is urging Android smartphone users to download the Car Mode app or if using an iPhone, it's drive safe mode, which automatically detects when you're driving, and silences incoming calls and messages.

Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Martin Jelley said: Motorists should already be 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. It is unacceptable to allow yourself to be distracted while driving, and officers will ensure any motorists doing so face the penalties involved."

"We are continuing to urge motorists to think about the consequences of their actions and ask themselves how they would feel if they caused a collision and injured, or killed, somebody else simply for the sake of making a call, reading a text message or checking social media."

Community Fire Prevention & Arson Manager Moreno Francioso said:

"Warwickshire Fire and Rescue has attended a number of road traffic collisions over the years in which the driver was using a mobile at the wheel. These kinds of accidents have led to tragic consequences in some cases and could easily been avoided if the motorist had their full attention on the road.

"Please make sure your phone is not able to distract you when driving, even just a few minutes distraction could lead to a serious accident."

 

If you would like to arrange an interview please contact Vicki Bristow on 01905 331358 or Lisa Bennett on 01905 331323.

Follow us on Twitter @ThinkSaferRoads and @warkspolice

 

Notes to Editor

A recent 2016 annual report on motoring, by the RAC, suggests the number of motorists who illegally use mobile phones while at the wheel is rising. 1,714 motorists were surveyed and 31% of motorists said they used a handheld phone behind the wheel compared with 8% in 2014. The number of drivers who said they had sent a message or posted on social media rose from 7% to 19%, while 14% said they had taken a photograph or video while driving.

 

Published 24/01/18