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133 drivers caught using their mobile phones at the wheel in first week of West Mercia Police's campaign

Rob George 26th Apr, 2019 Updated: 26th Apr, 2019

A CRACKDOWN on drivers using their mobile phone while driving saw 133 motorists caught in the first week of the campaign.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) campaign, being led by West Mercia Police and the Safer Roads Partnership, started on April 15 and ends on Sunday, April 28.

It is more than two years 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.

New drivers, who have passed within the last two years, face losing their licence if caught just once.

Drivers using a mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, and are four times more likely to be involved in a collision.

Drivers are encouraged to put their phone away before starting a journey so they are not tempted to use it, and only use their phone once they have stopped in a safe place.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said he was staggered so many people were still flouting the law when the dangerous consequences a split-second lack of concentration were well-known.

“The use of phones whilst driving is simply not acceptable and, two years after the new legislation was introduced, it appears more people need to understand that.”

He said there was still a lot of work to be done to change the culture.

“However, this isn’t a problem that can be tackled by the police alone.

“That is why I will continue to work with our communities to show that this dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Since 2016 there have been four fatalities, 15 serious injuries and 54 slight injuries in West Mercia where use of a mobile phone was recorded as a cause.

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