Crackdown on drivers using mobile phones

POLICE in Suffolk have vowed to clampdown on motorists who use mobile phones while driving after admitting people are failing to take the law seriously.

POLICE in Suffolk have vowed to clampdown on motorists who use mobile phones while driving after admitting people are failing to take the law seriously.

Chief Inspector Neal Atwell warned those who were caught on their phones while behind the wheel, without using a hands free kit, would now be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Last month The Evening Star reported how it photographed many drivers flagrantly ignoring the law.

Ch Insp Atwell was speaking at a roads safety briefing at Endeavour House in Ipswich which also featured Guy McGregor, county council portfolio holder for roads and transport, and assistant chief fire officer, Gary Phillips.

The trio were promoting Suffolk Roadsafe - a joint initiative involving a number of agencies with the aim of driving down the number of accidents and deaths on the county's highways - ahead of National Road Safety Week which starts on November 6.

Already this year 36 people have been killed on Suffolk's roads, compared to 33 for the whole of 2005 - a statistic that Ch Insp Atwell said is far too high.

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He said: “We give countless pieces of advice on a range of roads policing issues but we are not always listened to.

“This year's figure of 36 deaths is too high and we need to do something about it. The instructions we are putting out to officers is that they need to focus on the enforcement side more firmly than they have done in the past.

“We have been taking a hard line and will continue to do so. Previously drivers may have got a finger wagging for using their mobiles or not wearing a seatbelt but now they will be issued with a fixed penalty notice.”

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