- Traffic cops will be out in force as part of the latest move to stop motorists using their phones while driving
- The move is in support of the National Policing Chiefs’ Council campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of mobile phone use behind the wheel, and helping to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured as a result.
- Those who are caught face being fined and banned from driving. New drivers who flout the law could have their licence revoked
- Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson, who’s backing the campaign, said, “Using your phone when driving is irresponsible and puts other road users at risk. If you can’t resist the temptation, put it in the glove box or boot”.
Traffic cops will be out in force as the police launch their latest crackdown on motorists using their mobile phones behind the wheel.
Over the coming weeks, officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit will be mounting extra patrols around the county, clamping down on any drivers putting others at risk by breaking the law.
The move is part of the National Policing Chiefs’ Council campaign, which runs until 10 March, and aims to raise awareness of the dangers of mobile phone use while driving and reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured as a result.
Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said, “Driving into work today, I saw someone holding his phone above the dashboard who appeared to be sending a text while he was driving in the outside lane of a busy dual carriageway. Apart from anything else, it must have been obscuring his eye line!
New drivers could have their licences revoked
“People must behave more responsibly and put their phones in the boot or glovebox if they can’t resist the temptation”.
The use of a mobile phone whilst driving falls within the “Fatal Four” causes of road deaths and injury along with inappropriate speed, not wearing a seat belt and drink/drug driving. Motorists may not be aware that new laws around using handheld mobile phones at the wheel came into effect in March last year (2022).
Legislation made it illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving for virtually any use. It includes things such as texting, looking through Spotify playlists, taking photos or playing games. A device can be used hands free but only if secured in a cradle, allowing satnav use.
The consequences of being caught on your phone include a £200 fine and six points on your licence. If you are taken to court you could face a £1,000 fine or £2,500 if you’re driving a lorry or bus, and a ban from driving.
New drivers, and those who passed their driving test within the last two years, face having their licence revoked if caught using their phone behind the wheel just once.
Acting Sergeant Mark Feltham said: “Motorists continue to be four times more likely to be involved in a crash if they are using their phone whilst driving.
“Using a mobile phone whilst driving is not only completely unacceptable and reckless but puts lives at risk. Concentrating on the road is far more important when it comes to keeping you and other road users safe.
“Officers will continue to do all we can to make the roads of Gloucestershire safe alongside colleagues from the Road Safety Partnership.”
You can provide evidence through Operation Snap
Cllr Dave Norman, Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for road safety and Chair of the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, said: “Using a phone at the wheel is highly dangerous and can result in death or life changing injuries.
“The safety of our residents is a priority for us and we are committed to making our roads safer for all users. The message is very simple, don’t use your phone when you are driving.”
Alternatively you can now upload footage of anyone using their phone behind the wheel to Operation Snap. This is a secure online platform which allows you to submit video evidence of driving offences that you or other members of the public have witnessed.
To find out more about the penalties of using your phone whilst driving please visit: https://www.gov.uk/using-mobile-phones-when-driving-the-law
Anyone who has concerns over someone who may be using their mobile phone whilst driving can report it to police by completing the following form or calling 999 if the incident is ongoing: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/
Or, you can now upload footage of anyone using their phone behind the wheel to Operation Snap. This is a secure online platform which allows you to submit video evidence of driving offences that you or other members of the public have witnessed. You can find out more or submit footage here: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/police-forces/gloucestershire-constabulary/areas/gloucestershire/campaigns/campaigns/2022/operation-snap/about/