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Crackdown on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel

West Mercia Police will continue to target motorists who use their handheld mobile phone at the wheel.


Over the last three years, across the force area, two people lost their lives in collisions where the driver using a mobile phone was a contributing factor with 13 others seriously injured and 48 more suffered other injuries.

Superintendent Steph Brighton said officers were doing all we could to prevent more lives being lost by highlighting the issue and continuing to target motorists who use their handheld mobile phone at the wheel.

She said enforcing the law around mobile phone use whilst behind the wheel takes place across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire 24/7.

"Distraction behind the wheel is such a significant contributory factor in road collisions and we’ll be having an extra focus over the next two weeks to support the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) mobile phone operation," she said.

"This national operation highlights the work that we do to tackle the issue every day and is in line with PCC John Campion’s Safer West Mercia Plan, contributing towards reducing the excessive harm felt on roads across the three counties.

"Everyone knows it’s illegal to use a hand held mobile behind the wheel and motorists caught face a £200 fine and six points on their licence. Drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban – which could also 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."

New legislation also makes it clearer that the law includes using phones for reasons such as internet use, checking notifications and uploading content while driving.

Superintendent Brighton added: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts road users at risk of serious harm. Everyone knows the use of handheld mobile phones whilst driving is against the law and we are very clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.

"This not only covers making and receiving calls but also the use of social media, messaging and streaming. The majority of drivers use the roads respectfully and adhere to the laws around mobile phone use but it is concerning that we still have some drivers across our area who are willing to risk driving whilst distracted. This is a year round commitment for us to challenge this behaviour."

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “At the heart of my Safer West Mercia Plan is a focus on making West Mercia’s roads safer. Using a mobile phone behind the wheel can have life-changing consequences not only for the motorist but the lives of others. Beyond national campaigns, I will continue to back West Mercia Police with the resources and tools it needs to enforce the law, catch offenders and protect communities.”

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