North Wales Police force is coming towards the end of a two-week campaign in which officers have been warning motorists of the dangers of being distracted when driving.
As well as imposing penalties on drivers caught using a mobile phone, officers have used the campaign as an opportunity to educate motorists of the wider dangers of ‘distraction driving’.
The force says a motorist is distracted “when they pay attention to a second activity whilst driving, which means they are more likely to fail to spot hazards”. The second activities it identifies include talking on a mobile phone, texting, changing a CD or playing with an MP3 player, using sat nav equipment, or using one or both hands to eat or drink.
Sergeant Alun Davies, from North Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “Drivers who divide their attention because they’re on the phone or otherwise distracted are significantly increasing their risk of causing a crash.
“Driving is a highly unpredictable and risky activity, it requires full concentration at all times.
“Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel – whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call – is classed as one of the ‘Fatal 5’; the five most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.
“With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.”
The force has been using social media to highlight the campaign messages using the hash tag #fatal5 and #eyesontheroad