WEST Mercia Police is working alongside other organisations to crackdown on drivers using their mobile phones at the wheel.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) mobile phone week of action, which ends on Sunday, January 28, aims to target motorists who continue to use their handheld phones.
Supported by the Safer Roads Partnership and National Fire Chiefs Council, it comes almost a year after penalties were increased.
Motorists caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving face a £200 fine, six points on their licence and, if caught twice, a lengthy ban and possible £1,000 fine.
Since March last year, 1,268 drivers in West Mercia have been caught using their mobile phone whilst at the wheel.
Towards the end of last year the Department for Transport launched a new national campaign under the THINK! Banner asking drivers to put their phone away by highlighting it only takes a few seconds of distraction to change lives forever.
The campaign urges Android smartphone users to download the Car Mode app or use the iPhone’s ‘drive safe’ mode which automatically detects when the owner is driving, silencing incoming calls and messages.
West Mercia Police Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, the national police chiefs’ council lead for roads policing, said: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm.”
He vowed the force would use the tougher penalties and warned motorists it was their responsibility to stay focused and alert at the wheel.
“It’s concerning we still have drivers out there who are willing to risk driving whilst distracted and it is a year round commitment for us to challenge this behaviour across West Mercia.”