Police Swoop On Drivers Using Mobile Phones

Forces Across UK Crack Down On Offenders

22.10.2014

Police forces around Britain have been cracking down on the use of mobile phones while driving, with a number of them making more arrests.

Hampshire and the Thames Valley is one area where a large number of lawbreakers have been caught, with 12,280 men and 3,762 women being apprehended between April 2013 and March this year.

Speaking to Radio Solent, chief constable of the Hampshire force Andy Marsh urged passengers to tell drivers to stop using phones.

He remarked: "It makes me angry to see people on their phones. Those who are in the car with them should say: 'What do you think you are doing?'"

The police have said those using a phone will react 50 per cent slower when behind the wheel and are four times as likely to have a crash. Offenders can be given three points on their licence as well as a fine of £100 if caught.

It is not just in the south-east of England where this is happening on a regular basis.

In Leicestershire, for example, a recent police operation saw 173 motorists being caught for using a phone or driving without wearing a seatbelt, the Leicester Mercury reports. Of those caught, 52 were using phones and 121 did not have a seatbelt on.

Since 2007, a total of 13,094 motorists have been hit with penalty notices for phone use behind the wheel in Norfolk.

A freedom of information request to Norfolk police led to the release of the figures, the Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reports. It showed that the tally of drivers using mobiles has fallen - dipping from a high of 2,516 in 2009 to 1,122 last year - and is on course to be lower at 508 this year. However, this still means over 500 cases where the danger to other road users and pedestrians was increased.

Head of Norfolk and Suffolk's roads policing unit Chris Spinks said: "No message is so important that you could end up killing someone, killing yourself or going to prison for it." He urged drivers to put their phones in the glovebox when they take to the roads.

Expert Opinion
These figures relating to the number of drivers being apprehended for using their mobile phones while driving are concerning. The dangers of this have been well documented for years now, yet people still think taking a phone call is worth risking their own or somebody else’s life.

“We see time and time again the impact that careless or dangerous driving can have, putting innocent road users and pedestrians at risk, often with life-changing consequences.

“We hope that police forces across the UK will continue to keep this matter as a top priority to raise awareness that driving whilst using a phone will not be tolerated.”
Stephen Nye, Partner