Herts crime commissioner backs three-county blitz on drivers who dial

PUBLISHED: 08:30 04 July 2015

Police have launched a month-long focus on people who use mobile phones while driving

Police have launched a month-long focus on people who use mobile phones while driving

Neil Simon Franklin

Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner David Lloyd has given strong support to a three-county summer blitz on motorists who put others in peril by using their mobile phones at the wheel.

As the month-long campaign hit the road this week, he said: “I fully support this campaign, as dangerous or anti-social driving on the county’s roads has been a priority for me since day one.

“It is clear that some motorists still believe it is OK to use a phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle, just as in days gone by some thought it was acceptable to drink and drive or not wear a seat belt.

“Today most people know better and yet do not understand that taking their focus off the road because of a text, email or call can be just as dangerous.”

Throughout July, officers in the Beds, Cambs and Herts road policing unit will be aiming to put a brake on motorists putting others in danger by dialling while they drive.

The unit’s Insp Mark Rogers said driving while using a phone was one of the ‘fatal four’ driving offences, along with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink or drug driving.

He said: “Those who use a mobile phone while driving put their own lives and the lives of others at risk.

“If you are using a phone while driving, your reaction times are 50 per cent slower and you are four times more likely to have a collision. “Recent research has suggested it impairs your ability to drive safely as much as being over the alcohol limit.

“Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.

“Throughout July we will carry out targeted patrols to enforce the law. You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.”

Motorists are advised to turn their mobile phone off or lock it in the glove box while driving to avoid being distracted or tempted to answer.

In 2014, more than 6,425 people were issued with tickets for driving while using a mobile phone across the three counties – 989 in Beds, 2,415 in Cambs and 3,021 in Herts.

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