Police forces across the UK will step up efforts to catch drivers using a mobile phone next week, as part of a nationwide campaign.
The week-long campaign, which launches on Monday (15 April), is being coordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) – with a warning that one moment of distraction can lead to ‘devastating consequences’.
Road Safety GB has welcomed the increased enforcement – but says the key is maintaining a fear of detection after the operation has finished.
Steve Horton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: “There’s no doubt short periods of enforcement activity can highlight particular illegal behaviours, so this national focus on drivers using mobile phones is a valuable reminder that this behaviour is unacceptable.
“It will enhance the ‘fear of detection’, which we know is a key motivator for many drivers’ behaviour; if you know you’ll be caught 100% of the time using a mobile illegally you wouldn’t ever do it, if you know you’ll never be caught you’ll always do it – the truth is somewhere in between but not high enough for most who currently use their phone.
“The challenge with such high profile enforcement activity is not just how widely it’s delivered but also how the fear of detection is maintained after the operation.
“The impairment effect of driving ‘on the phone’ is well known and no driver can be ignorant of this – so the reasons why they do it include ‘I’ll get away with it’ but essentially it’s because drivers take driving for granted. It’s such an everyday activity that we believe we’ve mastered it and therefore can easily handle additional tasks, but of course every extra burden reduces our ability to cope with emerging situations and emergencies.”
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