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Roads Police To Target Drivers Using Mobile Phones

Published on: 25 May, 2016
Updated on: 26 May, 2016

driving and phoning mobile phoneThe Roads Policing Unit at Surrey and Sussex Police will be targeting drivers who use their mobile phone at the wheel as part of a week-long national enforcement campaign.

The initiative which started on Monday, May 23, aims to make motorists aware of the risks posed by being distracted by mobile phones whilst driving and to educate them about the serious penalties they could face if they are caught.

Officers will be keeping an eye out for drivers across the county who they spot using a mobile phone, making calls, texting or surfing the web while driving and will be handing out advice and penalties where appropriate.

Inspector Alan Nicholls said: “We will be out and about across the road network including motorways, main thoroughfares and rural roads. We want to speak with as many drivers as possible who are putting themselves and potentially others in danger as a result of their phone usage. This is very much a part of our everyday work but we are determined to tackle this issue and to highlight to all drivers that the penalties they could face are likely to increase – a move which is aimed at cutting the number of deaths and injuries on the road.

“The campaign is about educating motorists and ultimately saving lives. Driving ability is impaired by the use of a mobile phone and studies have found that talking on a hand-held mobile phone can impair driving more than driving above the drink drive limit.

“Studies show that you concentrate less on your driving and your reaction times slow when you are having a conversation on the phone, even if you are using a hands free kit. If you go a step further and take your hands off the wheel to text or use the internet, you are not even looking where you are going so cannot possibly be in control of your vehicle.

“If you need to use your phone, pull over and stop. Gambling with safety by using your phone at the wheel could cost you a hefty fine – or could cost someone their life.”

The Drive SMART partnership, a Surrey Police and Surrey County Council initiative focused on road safety, continues its work to make Surrey’s roads the safest they can be and supports the NPCC message around the dangers of driving whilst using any hand-held device.

Police carA statement from Surrey police stated: “Anti-social driving can cost lives and using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel could lead to three penalty points and a fine of £100. If you refuse to pay the fine you could be prosecuted, banned from driving and fined up to £1,000.”

If officers can prove that a driver is driving dangerously while using their phone courts can award a driving ban and a prison sentence of up to two years.

Surrey Police officers issued the first paperless ticket last week to a driver on the M25 for driving whilst using a handheld mobile phone.

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