Motorists are reminded not to use their mobile phones while driving or face a minimum £200 fine and six points on their licence. The warning comes at the start of a road safety campaign which will see officers targeting motorists who use handheld devices while driving.
Last year more than 347 motorists were caught using their mobile phone while driving in Hertfordshire. Most offenders were men (304) and over half of all offenders were aged between 22 and 40.
Officers across Hertfordshire will be undertaking both covert and overt enforcement activity throughout February. Using a mobile phone while driving is a leading cause of collision and many of those sadly result in serious injury or death.
Chief Inspector Simon Tabert, who co-ordinates the local activity in support of road policing campaigns, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for using your phone whilst driving. No text, call or comment is so urgent that it is worth risking your life and the lives of others. If you are looking at your phone, you are not looking at the road.
“Even just taking your eyes off the road for a split second, for something as trivial as changing a song or switching radio stations, could have life-changing consequences – not just for you, but for other innocent road users or pedestrians too. All it takes is a matter of seconds for circumstances to change and for a collision to occur. It is never, ever worth the risk.”
Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe, Head of Road Policing Unit (RPU) for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, said: “Using a mobile phone while driving means taking your eyes off the road. That is incredibly dangerous for you and those around you. To avoid being distracted we recommend turning off your phone or putting it on silent and storing it away in the glovebox until you reach your destination.”
People who have passed their driving test within the past two years and are caught using their phone will automatically be disqualified from driving and will need a re-test with the DVLA. The penalties for using a mobile phone while driving can be higher if a case goes to court.
You can use our community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in terms of road safety in Hertfordshire. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns.
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