Drivers get mobile fines

MORE than 20 Suffolk drivers are today counting the cost of being caught using their mobile phones while at the wheel.Since new legislation was introduced on December 1 last year around two dozen motorists have been given tickets by the county's police for ignoring the ban on using a mobile while driving.

MORE than 20 Suffolk drivers are today counting the cost of being caught using their mobile phones while at the wheel.

Since new legislation was introduced on December 1 last year around two dozen motorists have been given tickets by the county's police for ignoring the ban on using a mobile while driving.

The relatively low number of tickets has been met with cautious optimism by Suffolk top traffic cop.

Alan Pawsey, the county's chief Inspector in charge of traffic, said: "While it is disappointing that some people are choosing to ignore the new law, overall I am quite satisfied that the majority of people are taking this new legislation seriously."

Those who officers have seen unable to resist the temptation to answer their mobile calls while driving, must pay a fine of £30 fixed-penalty fine under the new law.

If they choose to take the matter to court that could rise to £1,000 for cars or £2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles or those carrying nine or more people.

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When the legislation was introduced last month safety campaigners believed it would cut the number of accidents by forcing motorists to remain more vigilant and fully focused on the road.

However those with certain types of hands-free kits which are still regarded as acceptable are able to carry on as normal.

But tests carried out by the AA Motoring Trust are said to have proved that even speaking into a hands-free system will dramatically reduce a driver's ability to concentrate.

Ch Insp Pawsey said: "Our message is simple. Turn your phone off before you start your journey, give your full attention to the road while driving and don't turn it back until you are parked safely.

"Missing a call won't kill you – a collision possibly could."

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