Six points for Ipswich driving instructor caught using phone while pupil was on lesson

Roads policing officers. From left to right, Constable Dave Green, Constable Steve Griggs and Consta

Roads policing officers. From left to right, Constable Dave Green, Constable Steve Griggs and Constable Paul Fletcher. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND - Credit: Archant

A driving instructor was among motorists hit with on-the-spot fines for using their mobile phone at the wheel in Ipswich today.

The team during Operation Ringtone in November last year. Left to right: PC Steve Griggs, Sgt Julian

The team during Operation Ringtone in November last year. Left to right: PC Steve Griggs, Sgt Julian Ditcham, PC Tim Murgatroyd and PC Paul Fletcher. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The authorised ADI, caught in Franciscan Way, was supervising a pupil on a lesson when roads policing officers spotted him using his phone.

Another driver, who already had six points on his licence, was given another six for texting at the wheel in St Matthew’s Street.

But after officers discovered his vehicle was also uninsured, he was given yet another six points bringing the total to 18.

Pc Paul Fletcher and his fellow constables Steve Griggs and Dave Green were out on patrol in Ipswich today. They said the number of drivers caught using their phone at the wheel has fallen since the Government doubled penalties to £200 and six points last week – but people are still ignoring advice.

Pc Fletcher said: “It’s just unacceptable. We have seen a reduction in the number of people which means the media has done its job in warning people, and on the whole it has been positive.

“Today though we have caught a dozen or so already so that shows people are still ignoring advice, the majority of them knew about the higher fines but decided to do it anyway.

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“I’m sure the driving instructor we got this morning was wanting to tell the next pupil he was going to be late but he was responsible for the current pupil and their actions behind the wheel. How is he meant to concentrate when he is texting?”

Back in November a driver was caught using his iPad at the wheel on the A14 – he was given a £100 fine and three points.

Now other motorists doing the same face double that – and new drivers qualified within just two years could lose their licence.

Pc Griggs added: “Using a mobile is dangerous at any time and we see the consequences, all of us are family liaison officers so we know how tough it can be for families who have lost their loved ones through someone using a mobile phone. Our message to people is to just not do it, it’s not worth it for someone’s life.”

We are currently running a campaign on the issue with BBC Radio Suffolk. Called Hands Off, it encourages drivers to pledge to not use their phone at the wheel – an action which could save lives.

Make your pledge by visiting the Facebook page.

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