Police forces across England, Scotland and Wales are taking part in a week-long enforcement campaign, targeting motorists who use their mobile phone while driving.
Launched today (1 Mar) – as new increased penalties for the offence come into force – the campaign will see extra patrols deployed, and an increased focus on cracking down on illegal mobile phone use.
Chief constable Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council roads policing lead, says officers will use ‘innovative and intelligence-led tactics’.
The campaign will also see police forces and partners work to make using a mobile phone at the wheel perceived as ‘socially unacceptable’, as is the case with drink-driving.
About 3,600 drivers were handed penalties in the last co-ordinated enforcement week from 23- 29 January 2017.
The new penalties will see motorists caught using a phone while driving receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous three points and £100 penalty.
New mobile phone penalties: updates and reaction
01 March 2017
Chief constable Suzette Davenport said: “These new penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence and will strengthen the deterrent against using a mobile phone at the wheel.
“We need people to understand that this is not a minor offence that they can get away with.
“Across this week officers will continue to use innovative and intelligence-led tactics to catch and penalise people who are driving while distracted by a mobile phone. However, this is an attitudinal problem that we cannot simply enforce away by putting more officers on the roads.
“This issue has to begin with personal responsibility by drivers. We know that people are more likely to report other drivers using a phone than to view themselves as guilty of it. That has to change.
“Tougher penalties are a step in the right direction, but police forces and partners are working this week to make it socially unacceptable to use a mobile phone at the wheel. It’s about more than what you might have to pay as a penalty – you could hurt or kill an innocent person on the roads by checking a text or taking a call.
“Don’t do it – and don’t let others take the risk either.”
Want to know more about mobile phones and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory