Hundreds of drivers pulled in police crackdown
Eating pasta at wheel among reasons
Driving while eating pasta, reading and cutting up fruit were among the offences motorists were pulled up for by police, in a recent police crackdown across Hampshire and the Thames Valley.
A total of 231 vehicles were stopped during the five-day crackdown across 1,440 miles of some of the busiest roads in the Thames Valley and Hampshire, including the M3 and A34 in Hampshire and the A34, M4 and M40 in the Thames Valley.
It resulted in 197 motorists being prosecuted for driving offences, including 109 for mobile phone offences.
Other prosecutions included: 62 seatbelt offences and 13 tickets for drivers not being in proper control; seven speeding offences; five driving without due care and attention offences; and one drink-drive arrest.
There was one arrest, with three more vehicles seized, for drivers either having no driving licence or no insurance, and there were a total of 15 mechanical prohibitions and £1,800 of roadside fines for lorry drivers breaching driving hours rules.
Two HGVs were immobilised for being unsafe through excess driving and one HGV was impounded for a cabotage offence (working in the UK for too long without going home).
Among the lesser offences were driving illegally on hatched road markings, driving without lights and displaying improper number plates.
For drivers caught texting or accessing smart phones held below the window line of the car, Sgt Paul Diamond, of the Operations Unit roads unit for Hampshire and Thames Valley, said the standard penalty was a £100 fine and three points on the licence.
Sgt Diamond said: “We were very disappointed to see so many people accessing their smart phones in the morning while they drive.
“Most of these were checking their calendars or confirming work commitments.”