Police in Norfolk to target drivers using mobile phones in crackdown

PUBLISHED: 13:47 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 17 September 2018

Norfolk Police carrying out Operation Ringtone in Great Yarmouth in January. 

Norfolk Police carrying out Operation Ringtone in Great Yarmouth in January. Picture: ANTONY KELLY.

Archant Norfolk 2018

Police are targeting people who use their mobile phones behind the wheel in a week-long enforcement campaign.

Officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team and Road Casualty Reduction Team will be carrying-out extra patrols using both marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, all fitted with cameras.

The crackdown, called Operation Ringtone, starts today and will run until Sunday September 23.

During a similar campaign in January, 121 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) were issued in Norfolk to drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Temporary superintendent Kris Barnard, head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Driving while using a mobile phone is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which makes you more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision; alongside speeding, drink/drug driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

“If drivers are talking, texting or using the internet on their phones, then they are distracted from the job at hand and less aware of potential hazards.

“The new penalties introduced in March last year saw both the fines and penalties for this offence double, so anyone caught faces a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence. This has a significant impact for new drivers, as anyone within two years of passing their driving test receiving six penalty points will lose their licence.

“We are determined to make this offence as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving and this stigma combined with the stiffer penalties are, in my opinion, beginning to contribute to a gradual fall in offences.”

The force will also being supporting Project EDWARD this week (European Day Without A Road Death), which is supported by all 30 TISPOL (the European Traffic Police Network) member countries. This will take place on Wednesday with the target that no one should die on the roads of Europe on that day.

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