Crackdown on drivers using mobile phones

A man using his mobile phone while driving
A man using his mobile phone while driving

Police are to target motorists using mobile phones at the wheel in a week-long road safety campaign.

Every day officers in Surrey and Sussex are on patrol looking for motorists who are putting others in danger by making calls, texting or surfing the web while they drive.

Extra officers will be out in units for seven days from Sunday, looking specifically for those who are using their handsets while behind the wheel or on a motorbike.

In the first four months of this year 547 people in Sussex and 598 in Surrey were caught driving while using their mobiles. Anyone caught faces being given three penalty points on their licence and a fine of £100. If you refuse to pay the fine you could be prosecuted, banned from driving and fined up to £1,000.

If officers can prove that you are driving dangerously while using your phone you can be banned from the road and jailed for up to two years.

Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said, “If you use your phone while you are behind the wheel you deliberately choose not to pay full attention to your driving.

“Studies show that you concentrate less on your driving and your reaction times slow when you are having a conversation on the phone, even if you are using a hands free kit. If you go a step further and take your hands off the wheel to text or use the internet, you are not even looking where you are going so cannot possibly be in control of your vehicle.

“If you need to use your phone, pull over and stop. Gambling with safety by using your phone at the wheel could cost you a hefty fine - or could cost someone their life.”

If you see someone driving while using their mobile phone report it at www.operationcrackdown.co.uk

If you see someone driving dangerously, call 999 as soon as it is safe for you to do so.

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