War continues on mobile menace

MOTORISTS in Ipswich are still using mobile phones behind the wheel, six months after it was declared illegal.Officers from Suffolk Police's road policing unit are still regularly catching motorists chatting into hand-held phones as they drive through the town.

MOTORISTS in Ipswich are still using mobile phones behind the wheel, six months after it was declared illegal.

Officers from Suffolk Police's road policing unit are still regularly catching motorists chatting into hand-held phones as they drive through the town.

And today an officer from the unit issued a stern warning that there will be zero tolerance for those who continue to endanger the lives of others.

Pc Jerry Abigail spoke as the force geared up for its summer-time crackdown on dangerous driving, targeting drink and drug driving as well as mobile phone users and speeders.

He said: “I have been policing the roads for eight years and I am sick and tired of seeing death out here.

“But the roads are not dangerous - it is some of the people that use them. If we can just make people think enough to stop one accident then I think my job is worth doing.”

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Within half an hour of taking to the road for their daily patrol on Monday morning, one suspected phone user had been warned and one person had received an on-the-spot fine of £60.

And he said he was amazed that even when driving a marked police car he is still seeing people coming up alongside him and talking on their phones while driving.

He said: “It is a question of being aware - these drivers know that using a phone at the wheel is illegal and they will get a £60 fine and three points on their licence if they are caught.

“So how little attention must they be paying to the road if they do not even notice a huge police Land Rover?

“This sort of behaviour can too easily lead to the serious injury or death of completely innocent people so we will not tolerate it.”

As well as mobile phone users they are on the lookout for people driving without seatbelts, speeding or in cars which are not fit for the road.

Pc Abigail said: “The condition of vehicles can often be a contributing factor in accidents - if you are involved in a serious accident your vehicle will be seized which could lead to charges being brought if it is found to be in bad condition - and ignorance is no excuse.”

Do you think there should be stiffer penalties for those who still use mobile phones while driving? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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