Police crack down on mobile use while driving

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Police forces will carry out targeted week-long operations to prosecute motorists using mobile phones while driving, to crack down on distraction driving

Police in England and Wales are conducting week-long operations to clamp down on drivers using their mobile phones while driving.

From November 14 – 21 police forces will carry out operations to prosecute driving offenders and drive home the consequences of distraction driving.

The operation will see the use of unmarked vans, helmet cams, high-seated vehicles and high vantage points to catch offenders.  Community spotters will be trialled to target repeat offenders.

A marketing campaign will also accompany. Social media videos will be released and ‘Leave Your Phone Alone’ messages will be up on prime commuter routes.

This will mark the second week this year where police held an operation targeting drivers using mobile phones. The first was carried out in May where 2,323 offences were detected in the week-long operation.

Similar campaigns targeting mobile phone use at the wheel includes Operation Tramline. The operation targeted HGV drivers and resulted in 1,713 offences between April 2015 and July 2016.

Illegal mobile phone use on the rise

According to a 2016 annual report by automotive services firm RAC, 31 per cent of motorists admit to using a mobile phone while driving, compared with 8 per cent in 2014. The report also found 19 per cent of drivers have sent a message or posted on social media from behind the wheel.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said: “Forces are coming together this week with innovative approaches to catching those driving when distracted and campaign to make drivers think twice about using their mobiles at the wheel.

“Tackling mobile phone use by drivers requires police enforcement using new technology and tactics to maximise the numbers of people we can stop, combined with strong effective penalties and creative national campaigns to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink driving.”

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