Mobile phone drivers still flouting law

MORE than 560 Suffolk motorists were caught using mobile phones in just two months despite harsher laws being brought in, it was announced today.

MORE than 560 Suffolk motorists were caught using mobile phones in just two months despite harsher laws being brought in, it was announced today.

The news comes as trucker Adrian Burrows, 41, of Glebe Close, Bramford, begins a three-year jail term for killing fellow driver Brian Mills shortly after answering a text from his girlfriend.

Suffolk police said despite the penalty for using a mobile while driving being increased to a £60 fine and three points on a driving licence, 278 tickets were handed out in March and 285 in April.

The new legislation came in on February 27.

As well as mobile phone offences, officers also issued drivers with a total of 858 fines over the same two months for failing to wear seat belts.

The dangers of not belting up were also highlighted this week when Adalberto Conde, 24, of Suffolk Road, was fined £60 for ensuring a child was not strapped into a seat belt and the same amount for driving without a licence.

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Conde was the driver of a Peugeot which crashed on the A14 near Coddenham in February killing Jose Gomes Costa, 30 and his eight-year-old daughter Erica, who were ejected from the car.

Suffolk police's head of traffic, chief inspector Martin Barnes-Smith, also revealed 1,134 motorists were fined for speeding in March and April, while 178 drink-drivers were caught during the same period.

Ch insp Barnes-Smith said: “It's frustrating. Despite enforcement, despite a media campaign, and despite the public being made aware, that people are doing this on Suffolk's roads.

“By the illegal use of mobile phones and not wearing seat belts people continue to put others' lives at risk.”

As part of the police's mission, leaflets are also being handed out to every offender explaining the county's road safety message in a bid to cut down fatal or serious injury accidents.

The contents have now also been translated into Polish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Russian and Kurdish to reflect the growing multicultural community in Suffolk.

Are the punishments for motoring offences fair? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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