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Police crackdown on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel

Crackdown follows A34 deaths of four people including three children

Jane Meredith

Reporter:

Jane Meredith

Contact:

01635 886637

Police launch crackdown on drivers using mobile phones

HAMPSHIRE and Thames Valley police have joined a national crackdown this week on drivers using mobile telephones at the wheel.

The crackdown follows the recent tragic collision involving a lorry on the A34, driven by Tomasz Kroker, in which four people lost their lives, including three children.

Mr Kroker was jailed for ten years after admitting using his mobile phone for at least seven seconds when his lorry ploughed into stationary traffic at 50mph.

This week police across Hampshire and the Thames Valley will be stopping drivers caught using their phones and issuing penalties.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Road Safety officer, Sgt Rob Heard said: “You are four times more likely to be involved in a collision whilst using a mobile phone or being distracted in a vehicle.

​“Unfortunately far too many people are still deciding to take that risk and the consequences of these actions can cause devastation, as we have recently seen with the case on the A34 and a lorry driver being distracted by his phone.

A total of 15 per cent of all fatal collision in Hampshire have involved the driver being distracted or using a mobile phone, yet motorists were still taking that risk.

The last similar campaign, in May saw 190 people caught – an increase of 36 per cent on last year.

Research shows that using a mobile phone makes reactions 50 per cent slower.

Using a hands-free phone does not significantly reduce the risks, due to the mental distraction and divided attention.

The law states it is illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices.

The rules apply while stopped at traffic lights, or in traffic queues.

It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.

A mobile telephone can only be used if safely parked, or because it is necessary to make an emergency call and also unsafe, or impractical to stop.

Hands free devices, including sat navs and two-way radios can be used whilst driving, however police will still stop and penalise drivers not in control of a vehicle.

Offenders can receive an automatic fixed penalty notice, including three driving licence points and a £100 fine.

A court case could result in disqualification from driving and £1,000 maximum fine, rising to £2,500 maximum for drivers of buses or heavy goods vehicles.

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Article comments

  • Tommy

    14/11/2016 - 14:02

    All these namby pamby fixed penalty notices are a complete waste of time. Until someone comes up with the technology that scrambles phone signals whilst in a moving vehicle the punishment should be an immediate 1year ban + £500 fine, that should make them think twice !!

    Reply

  • Guide Dog

    14/11/2016 - 12:12

    Automatic 3 year ban might stop the stupid and if it didn't at least they would be off the road.

    Reply

  • Blizzard

    14/11/2016 - 11:11

    Sadly a crack down doesn't last a week, it goes until the message gets in the drives head. Happy hunting, it should be very easy pickings. They are unlikely to be pulling in cars on the A34 with the lack of hard shoulder. Love the image of someone riding a motorcycle while using a mobile. You would have to ride without a glove to press the buttons, not have a helmet to hear and speak, and be traveling at walking pace to avoid wind noise. Might as well ban juggling goats on a motorcycle as it would be just as easy.

    Reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    14/11/2016 - 11:11

    Hope they're using unmarked HGV's as they do in Midlands to look in on HGV drivers.

    Reply

    • Blizzard

      14/11/2016 - 11:11

      Unlikely. It will be some half arsed high Viz, High profile operation. They only catch the really stupid ones that can't see them and report that numbers are actually down and there isn't a need to continue. Thus they don't need to spend Police budget resourcing it.

      Reply

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