More than a third of UK police forces are using mobile safety camera vans to prosecute drivers not wearing seatbelts or using a mobile phone.
IAM RoadSmart submitted Freedom of Information requests to 44 police forces – with 16 confirming they use the pictures from the cameras to pursue these offences as ‘a matter of routine’, while a further four do so ‘occasionally’.
During 2016, these 16 police forces caught more than 8,000 unbelted drivers and around 1,000 drivers using a mobile at the wheel.
IAM RoadSmart says with 80% of drivers believing that distraction from mobile phones has become a bigger problem in the last three years, the fact the police are using cameras to detect offenders ‘can only be good news for road safety’.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “Drivers should be reassured that the police are using all the tools in their road safety toolkit to address their top worries.
“For too many drivers it is only the fear of being caught that will stop them putting themselves and others at risk from smartphone distraction. Not wearing a seatbelt also puts an unfair burden on our emergency services who have to deal with the aftermath of such selfish behaviour.
“If drivers don’t know about this added enforcement technique then its impact will be reduced so the police should have no hesitation in publicising its use.”