17th Sep, 2019

'It's unacceptable' - Police crackdown on mobile phone use while driving

WEST Mercia Police are continuing to target drivers using handheld mobile phones at 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, more than 2,140 drivers in West Mercia have been caught using their mobile phone whilst at the wheel.

Over the past three years we have experienced a number of collisions where use of a mobile phone was a causation factor and any number of persons could have been killed or seriously injured.

West Mercia Police Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council 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.

“We are making use of the tougher penalties to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour – and we have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.

“It’s concerning that we still have drivers who are willing to risk driving whilst distracted and it is a year round commitment for us to challenge this behaviour across West Mercia.”

Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue Service Area Commander Mark Preece added: “Smartphones are embedded into most people’s daily routines, but we are urging people to keep phone usage to when they are outside of a vehicle.

“We want people 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.”

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