Drivers caught using mobile phones - on the same day police launch crackdown
PUBLISHED: 17:37 17 September 2018
Suffolk drivers are continuing use their mobiles while they drive - on the day that police in the county announce their renewed effort to crack down on criminal motorists.
Despite repeated calls for drivers to take road safety seriously, a potential six points on a driving licence and a £200 fine, this photo shows there are still people willing to get behind the wheel and put their lives and others at risk by using a mobile device.
The force will be rolling out extra patrols this week in marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, all fitted with cameras to obtain evidence and make sure that reckless motorists are brought to justice.
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.
“I hope the increased penalties will be the catalyst for change and I will look forward to seeing if this week’s campaign shows obvious sign of improvement.”
Using a mobile phone is one of the police’s ‘fatal four’ elements that can lead to deaths by dangerous driving - the others being speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The project, called Operation Ringtone, will run from September 17 to 23.
During the most recent campaign held between January 22 and 28, 122 drivers in Suffolk were given traffic order offences for using a mobile phone while driving.
Temporary Superintendent Kris Barnard, head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “This has a significant impact for new drivers, as anyone within two years of passing their driving test receiving six penalty points will lose their licence.
“If drivers are talking, texting or using the internet on their phones, then they are distracted from the job at hand and less aware of potential hazards.
“The new penalties introduced in March last year saw both the fines and penalties for this offence double, so anyone caught faces a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.
“We are determined to make this offence as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving and this stigma combined with the stiffer penalties are, in my opinion, beginning to contribute to a gradual fall in offences.”
The constabulary will also being supporting Project EDWARD this week (European Day Without A Road Death), which is supported by all 30 TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network) member countries.
This will take place on Wednesday, September 19, with the target that no-one should die on the roads of Europe on that day.