Hampshire launches mobile phone campaign

09.42 | 15 January 2010 | | 5 comments

Hampshire’s road safety team has launched a campaign urging motorists not to use mobile phones.

Reminders of the dangers of texting or calling while driving will be aired on the county’s radio stations while posters will be displayed at hospitals, businesses and cinemas.

Hampshire County Council developed the 12-week campaign after it was revealed that the number of drivers caught using phones illegally has increased – despite tougher penalties.

A report by the Transport Research Laboratory showed 2.6% of drivers were using hand-held mobile phones in 2006. This fell in 2007 to 1.4% after the introduction of tougher penalties, but had increased to 2.8% by 2009.

The new radio adverts involve a call interrupted by a mother distressed about her daughter being in a collision caused by the distracted driver.

Ernest Sage, road safety manager, said: “The increase in drivers using mobiles is very worrying. Even careful drivers can be distracted by a phone call or text message and that split second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

For more information contact Charlotte Tilling.



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    I’m sure you will not post this, but whilst I support the campaign to stop using mobiles whilst driving, this advert is totally irresponsible in that the use of sound clips of car horns tooting and sounds of cars skidding is the last thing you need to hear on your car radio. It is very off putting. I hope this is received in the positive manner in which it is intended. IAM motorcyclist. Car driver.

    Brian Elliott, Thatcham
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    Maybe a message through their insurers could be initiated. Get their support!!!!

    Something on the lines of u will not be covered whilst using a hand held phone for speaking or text. A lot of women [who believe can multitask] think its ok to text whilst driving.

    And confiscation as per previous thread.

    As an aside, we all see persons using phones, either van drivers, women and BMW or sports cars. I see about 6 a day.

    Why aren’t there any police about when this happens.

    Bob Craven Blackpool
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    I agree that most drivers using a mobile ‘phone while driving are probably doing so by choosing to break the law, rather than through ignorance. I think a simple way to stop it entirely would be to give police the power to confiscate the ‘phone for a short time – 24 hours for a first offence, 48 for a second and 7 days for a third. It would need an admin system set up, requiring more staff, so would need to be self financing. How about a redemption fee of £50.00 for the first offence, £75.00 for the second and £100.00 for the third? The last thing I want to do is burden our already over burdened police forces with yet more admin but, given that most mobile ‘phone users either run their lives with the ‘phone (both business and social) or at the very least are devastated if they lose their numbers, I think the prospect of being without the ‘phone, instantly, would be more of a deterrent than the current fine and points seem to be.

    Mandy Rigault. Oxfordshire Road Safety.
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    Given the amount of drivers I see breaking the law about mobile use, I would have thought that Mark’s suggestion is a very practical method of tackling the problem. It would need more Police officers dedicated to roads though.

    David Daw, Suffolk
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    This is a positive campaign, however, most drivers know it’s against the law to use a hand held mobile phone, but they choose to break the law and still do it.

    Deterrent and education could work together. How about a £60 fine and three points as at present, but require compulsory attendence on a half day workshop on the dangers of using hands held and hands free phones at the wheel. The workshop could be run by partnerships and should be self financing. A realistic fee for such a half day workshop would be in the region of £80 – £100. Offenders could be referred to a workshop by Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers. It may be possible for the police to refer them from evidence captured on camera by Safety Camera Partnership Enforcement Officers.

    Mark – Wiltshire
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