• In a recent survey by an insurance company, 16% of 2000 motorists questioned confessed to using their mobile phone while driving.
  • 46% said they used their phones to navigate; 30% said they answered calls and texts and 24% said they listened to music.
  • 17-24 year olds are the age group most likely to hold their phone when driving.
  • Two thirds of those questioned did not know the penalty for using a mobile phone when driving was increased to a £200 fine and 6 points

Latest figures suggest that in spite of tougher penalties being introduced over a year ago, a high proportion of motorists are still using their mobile phones when driving.

In a recent survey for an insurance company, 16% of the 2000 respondents confessed to using their mobile phone while driving.

Of those, 46% said it was for navigation purposes; 30% said they answered calls and texts and 24% said they listened to music.

According to the survey, 30% of 17-24 year olds are the age group most likely to hold their phone when driving; only 4% of drivers over 55 did so making them the least likely.

66% were unaware the offence attracted a £200 fine and 6 points on your licence even though the punishment was increased in March 2018.

“…those who refuse to heed the warning… should face the full force of the law.”

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who previously called for offenders to have their phones confiscated and in the most persistent cases crushed, believes that stricter enforcement is the only way to make them stop.

PCC Martin Surl says, “There is clearly a significant hard core of people who only think about themselves when they get behind the wheel and ignore the threat they pose to others.

“I would rather motorists corrected bad habits through education or persuasion; but those who refuse to heed the warning that using a mobile phone when driving is both dangerous and anti-social should face the full force of the law”.

As part of a campaign over the next two weeks, Gloucestershire Police will carry out roadside operations around the county. The Constabulary’s long range camera enforcement unit will also be used at different locations around the county. It is part of a co-ordinated approach involving the police, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“…driving while using a mobile phone can have devastating consequences.”

The Police and Crime Plan’s Safe and Social Driving Co-ordinator Jo Arnold says, “The Special Constabulary will be running several operations in different parts of the county in the next week during which officers will be stopping anyone for using a mobile phone while driving and roads officers will also be on the lookout for offences throughout the week.

“As we have seen in some tragic cases across the country, driving while using a mobile phone can have devastating consequences. It’s important that the agencies throughout the county continue to educate people and help enforce the law to ensure it becomes completely socially unacceptable.”

Gloucestershire County Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for public protection, says: “Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is often called to assist with serious collisions on the road, and unfortunately sometimes these are caused by drivers who are distracted by mobile phones.

“Serious injury or fatality are very real consequences of using your mobile phone while driving. Please consider the impact taking your attention away from the road for a few seconds could have on yourself and the people around you.”

a mobile police camera van