Shut up to make roads safer

STATISTICALLY this is one of the most dangerous times of the year on Britain's roads.With dark mornings and evenings, idiots driving home after drinking at Christmas parties, and now a massive increase in the number of people being caught using their mobiles while driving the roads of Suffolk have never had so many hazards.

STATISTICALLY this is one of the most dangerous times of the year on Britain's roads.

With dark mornings and evenings, idiots driving home after drinking at Christmas parties, and now a massive increase in the number of people being caught using their mobiles while driving the roads of Suffolk have never had so many hazards.

What is especially worrying about the latest statistics from the police is the fact that the harsher penalties introduced earlier this year do not seem to have put people off answering a mobile phone while driving.

In the nine months since the law changed at the end of February 2,183 people in Suffolk have been issued with fixed penalties after being caught on their phone while driving.


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That means they have three penalty points - and are a quarter of the way to getting a six-month driving ban.

That is a massive increase on the situation just three years ago when the first law banning drivers using mobile phones was introduced and 978 fixed penalty notices were issued.

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Using a mobile while driving is dangerous. It massively reduces the amount of control the driver has over the vehicle.

Several people have died or suffered appalling injuries after being involved in crashes with vehicles whose drivers were on the phone.

That is why our road safety campaign Light Up, Belt Up, Shut Up emphasises the dangers of talking on mobile phones.

It is a curse of modern motoring - and one the police must work to stamp out.

SUFFOLK has a rich Anglo-Saxon past, but the latest find to go on display at Ipswich Museum shows that this part of the world was important to the Romans long before the invaders arrived from the east.

The Roman horse harness found in a field at Holbrook gives us a direct link to the time of Boudicca when the Iceni were the dominant tribe in this part of the world - and reminds us that Suffolk has a history that dates back almost to the age of Christ.

Having knowledge of our history is vital to the development of society - and to be able to see artefacts with a direct link to the past like this is vital to fan that interest.

AFTER a dismal start to December, Ipswich Town players tonight have the chance to put things right and show doubting fans that they do have what it takes to mount a promotion challenge.

Jim Magilton's tough words after the humiliation during the first 45 minutes at Charlton should be ringing in their ears as they run out on to the Portman Road pitch tonight.

With £12 million in his back pocket and the transfer window opening in three weeks time, many of the players know they are visiting the last chance saloon.

Big performances are needed in front of the home fans tonight unless some players want to find new clubs over the next few weeks.

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