Warwickshire Police, the Safer Roads Partnership and National Fire Chiefs Council are supporting the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) mobile phone week of action next week 17th – 23rd September, by targeting motorists who continue to use their handheld mobile phone at the wheel.
It’s over a year (March 2017) since new legislation was introduced, increasing both the fine and licence points if caught using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel. Motorists caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving face a £200 fine and six points on their licence. Drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban – which could also then lead to a £1,000 fine. While new drivers – those who have passed within the last two years – face having their licence revoked if caught just once. Since March 2017, 703 drivers in Warwickshire have been caught using their mobile phone whilst at the wheel.
Over the past 3 years we have experienced a number of collisions where use of a mobile phone was a causation factor and any number of persons could have been killed or seriously injured.
Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Martin Jelley said: “Motorists should already be aware that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media, and applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. It is unacceptable to allow yourself to be distracted while driving, and officers will ensure any motorists doing so face the penalties involved. We are continuing to urge motorists to think about the consequences of their actions and ask themselves how they would feel if they caused a collision and injured, or killed, somebody else simply for the sake of making a call, reading a text message or checking social media.”
Community Fire Prevention & Arson Manager Moreno Francioso said: “Warwickshire Fire and Rescue has attended a number of road traffic collisions over the years in which the driver was using a mobile at the wheel. These kinds of accidents have led to tragic consequences in some cases and could easily been avoided if the motorist had their full attention on the road. Please make sure your phone is not able to distract you when driving, even just a few minutes distraction could lead to a serious accident.”