Police forces across England and Wales are putting extra emphasis on catching drivers who use their mobile phone at the wheel, as part of a week-long operation.
Starting today (22 Jan), the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) campaign will see officers conduct targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams to catch offenders.
A similar operation in July 2017 saw more than 8,000 drivers stopped and 2,595 offences detected.
Legislation introduced in March 2017 means those caught can receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. The NPCC says early indications show that the new legislation is having an impact with around 11% fewer drivers stopped in the three months post-legislation than in the preceding three months.
In 2016, 32 people were killed in road traffic collisions where the driver of the vehicle was using their mobile phone, according to DfT figures.
Chief constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC lead for roads policing, said: “Nearly a year on from legislation to toughen the sanctions for using a phone at the wheel, we are seeing some change in driver behaviour but there are still too many people underestimating the risk they take.
“If you glance at a phone for even 2.3 seconds while driving at 30mph you miss 100ft of road. That is the equivalent to the length of Boeing 737.
“Drivers, put safety first and keep your eyes on the road. If you do use your phone at the wheel, don’t be surprised to be stopped by police and to receive a fine and points on your licence.”