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Monday 17 September 2018, 1:29 PM
  • A week of action is planned against motorists who use their mobile phones whilst driving
  • Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, "I would rather tackle this problem through persuasion and education but people should also know we mean business.
  • The operation will involve plain clothed officers using small cameras in slow moving traffic to identify drivers using mobiles and operational staff who will pull them over.
  • Chief Inspector Alistair Barby said, “It’s important to send a strong message out there that using a mobile phone while driving is unacceptable and potentially catastrophic".

Motorists who use mobile phones when driving are dialling-up trouble, Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said today.

The warning comes ahead of a week-long operation beginning today to catch motorists who persist in using their phones to call or text while at the wheel.

 

The operation will involve plain clothed officers using small cameras in slow moving traffic to identify drivers using mobiles and alerting operational staff ahead who will pull them over.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who has made safe and social driving a top priority for Gloucestershire Police. "I would rather tackle this problem through persuasion and education but people should also know we mean business.

 

“I have provided our camera vehicles with better equipment that enables them to capture offenders in much greater detail and from far greater distances. Instead of being stopped and given a ticket by a traffic officer, some who thought they could get away with it, didn’t know they had been caught until the summons arrived in the post. They are going through the courts now.

“The use of hand-held mobile phones while driving is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible things you can do. Not only are you putting yourself and your passenger at risk but other road users as well.

“It’s already illegal. We have to make it as socially unacceptable as not wearing a seat-belt”.

 

The consequences of a motorist on a phone while driving were seen at the Open Day at Police HQ on Saturday when firefighters demonstrated the difficulties of rescuing injured people from a wrecked car.  

Chief Inspector Alistair Barby said, “It’s important to send a strong message out there that using a mobile phone while driving is unacceptable and potentially catastrophic. We have seen far too many cases across the country of the devastating consequences that can result from it, so much so that it is considered one of the ‘fatal four’ causes of collisions – the others including drink or drug driving, speeding and not wearing a seat belt.

“Tighter resources mean we have to find different ways of reducing incidents and this day of action demonstrates how we are willing to take advantage of different and more innovative ways of identifying those who are breaking the law.

“The Constabulary, along with our Police and Crime Commissioner, is committed to fostering safe and social driving throughout the county and we will continue to take a range of enforcement and educational measures to help make this happen.”

County Councillor Nigel Moor, the cabinet member for fire added “Any use of a mobile phone whilst driving can have catastrophic consequences. Firefighters are dealing with the aftermath of tragic incidents related to this issue far too often in the county. As a community we need to challenge those that still don’t see this as a significant problem” 

 

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