Welsh police forces begin crackdown on drivers using mobile phones16 November 2016
The two week campaign aims to clamp down on ‘distracted driving’
Police forces across Wales have launched a two-week crackdown on motorists using a mobile phone while driving as part of the ‘Eyes on the Road’ campaign.
The initiative, which is led by Gwent Police in conjunction with the Dyfed-Powys, North Wales and South Wales police forces and Road Safety Wales, will run until Sunday 20 November with the aim of stopping people illegally using their phones as they drive.
Anyone caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel will receive three points on their licence and a £100 fine. Police officers will also be speaking to road users about the dangers of distracted driving, while information will be posted on the forces’ social media pages.
Driving while using a mobile phone is currently one of the biggest causes of serious injury and fatality on the roads. Recently, lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was sent to prison for ten years after killing four people in an accident, when he was distracted by his mobile phone.
During a similar campaign in 2015, Welsh police forces caught more than 500 people using their mobile phones and 2,782 drivers have been caught for similar offences in Gwent alone since 2012.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), drivers using mobile phones are four times more likely to crash, as they react slower, fail to see road signs and tailgate vehicles in front of them.
Paul Rosser, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “All it takes is a momentary lapse in concentration as a result of a driver using their mobile phone behind the wheel, let alone looking at it, to cause a road traffic accident, but some motorists fail to recognise this and continue to break the law.
“This campaign is a step in the right direction toward a decrease in the number of mobile phone-related injuries and fatalities reported on Welsh roads every year. It needs to be part of a comprehensive campaign to ensure it is seen as entirely socially unacceptable to put yourself and others at risk by using your phone when driving and should be as unacceptable as drink-driving.
“It’s promising to see that the South Wales police forces are implementing initiatives to deter drivers from breaking the law, but if we are to see the overall number of accidents drop, it’s going to take more than a two-week crackdown to achieve results. There needs to be a comprehensive campaign funded by Westminster that has a focus on introducing more deterrents on British roads and better education for drivers.”
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