Forces to crack down on drivers using mobile phones

The week-long campaign, which launches on Monday (15 April), is being coordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) – with a warning that one moment of distraction can lead to ‘devastating consequences’.

The NPCC says enforcement activity will be stepped up during the campaign, to ensure that motorists adhere to ‘road safety rules’.

In Avon and Somerset, police officers will use the campaign to remind drivers of the penalties given to those who use their mobile phone at the wheel.

Drivers are also being encouraged to turn off their phones, lock them away in the glove box and switch on ‘do not disturb’ mode.

In the south east, Kent County Council’s road safety team is running a month long campaign to remind drivers of the distraction that using a phone creates, straddling the enforcement focus from Kent Police.

The Kent campaign, in support of their police partners, is using On Demand TV, social media and small road side posters (pictured right) to highlight the impact that phone use can have on reaction times.

Meanwhile in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, the message being shared by the police is ‘don’t be distracted, just drive’.

Sgt Ian Manley from local roads policing unit, said: “There are serious and sometimes fatal consequences of using your phone whilst behind the wheel.

“I would ask all drivers: is it really worth it? The answer is of course no so please turn your phone off, on do not disturb or put it where you won’t be distracted by it or be tempted to pick it up.”

Since 2016, drivers caught using their mobile phone face being given six points on their licence, and a £200 fine.

CC Anthony Bangham, NPCC lead for roads policing

CC Anthony Bangham, NPCC lead for roads policing, said: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm, one moment of distraction can lead to devastating consequences.

“There are tougher penalties now in place to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour and police forces across the UK will step up enforcement activity during this mobile phone operation period.

“Forces already work all year round to ensure motorists adhere to roads safety rules, which are in place to protect the public.”

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