Police boosting efforts to stop drivers using their phones at the wheel
Police forces across England and Wales will put extra emphasis into stopping people using their phones at the wheel in a weeklong national operation.
Starting on January 22, officers will be conducting targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams to catch offenders. The last operation in July 2017 saw over 8,000 drivers stopped and 2,595 offences detected.
Legislation introduced in March 2017 means those caught can receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. Early indications show that the new legislation is having an impact with around 11 percent fewer drivers stopped in the three months post-legislation than in the preceding three months.
In 2016 32 people were killed in road traffic collisions where the driver of the vehicle was using their mobile phone, according to reports from the Department for Transport.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said:
"Nearly a year on from legislation to toughen the sanctions for using a phone at the wheel, we are seeing some change in driver behaviour but there are still too many people underestimating the risk they take.
"If you glance at a phone for even 2.3 seconds while driving at 30mph you miss 100ft of road. That is the equivalent to the length of Boeing 737.
"Drivers, put safety first and keep your eyes on the road. If you do use your phone at the wheel, don't be surprised to be stopped by police and to receive a fine and points on your licence."