‘Is it worth a selfie?’ Latest police crackdown on drivers using mobile phones in Suffolk
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The force wants the offence to be seen as “socially unacceptable as drink-driving” and will deploy marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, fitted with cameras, around the county in the latest crackdown until Sunday.
Operation Ringtone is being launched by both Suffolk and Norfolk constabularies.
“If you take your eyes off the road for just three seconds when doing 70mph you will travel further than the length of a football pitch,” said Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit.
“Ask yourself: what could happen in that time?
“Our aim is to make this offence as socially unacceptable as drink-driving. Drivers might not think a momentary glance at a text message is harming anyone, but think of what’s going on around you.
“Hazards on the road, especially when driving at speed, can change so quickly and in that moment if you’re not concentrating 100% you could easily cause a crash, injure or kill someone else, or become a casualty yourself. Is that text message, notification or selfie really worth it?”
Ch Insp Barnard added: “We all witness it; momentary glances looking down at a phone or the more blatant offender seen holding and talking on their phone.
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“The key thing to remember here is that while you’re behind the wheel you are in charge of a machine, a machine which can seriously injure and even kill people if you’re not in proper control.”
Drivers using their phone now face six points on their licence and a £200 fine after new legislation was introduced earlier this year.
Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives. It absolutely horrifies me when I see drivers on their phones and sadly we see it all too often.”