A47 driver on mobile phone was heading from Surrey to Yarmouth

Drivers using mobile phones has been cited as a potential reason for a rise in people killed or seri

A driver was given a Covid fine after police spotted him on his mobile phone - and found he had driven to Norfolk from Surrey. Picture posed by model. - Credit: PA

A driver police spotted on his mobile phone was hit with a fine for breaching coronavirus restrictions - after travelling from Surrey to Norfolk to visit relatives.

Norfolk police officers spotted the man was on his phone while driving on the A47 at Acle at about 3.15pm on Wednesday, February 10.

The man was issued with a traffic offence report for using his phone while behind the wheel.

But, when asked why he was travelling, the man admitted he had travelled from Surrey to visit relatives in Great Yarmouth.

So police also issued him with a Covid fine for breaching the lockdown restrictions for people to stay at home and only travel if essential.

Police have the power to issue such fines, which start at £200 and have issued dozens in recent weeks, along with more than a hundred warnings.

Among those who have been fined are a father and son who travelled from London to stay at their second home on the North Norfolk coast and a woman who travelled to Norwich from Colchester to deliver a birthday present.

Norfolk police are currently in the middle of a mobile phone campaign.

The #StandingUpForHangingUp drive aims to tackle those who text and talk while behind the wheel.

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It involves extra patrols from both marked and unmarked police cars fitted with cameras which help spot offenders – the footage can also be used as evidence to boost the chance of a successful prosecution.

Anyone caught will automatically get a £200 fine and six points on their licence.

A driver could also be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention for using their phone while behind the wheel, for example if they are browsing the internet, filming or watching videos.

In 2020, officers in Norfolk issued 127 traffic offence reports (TORs) to people using a mobile phone while driving.

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green.

norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said: "The simple fact is that dangerous driving kills, whether through the use of a mobile phone at the wheel, speeding, drink or drug driving or not wearing a seatbelt."