Police campaign targets drivers on mobile phones

A driver using a mobile phone while driving down Grapes Hill in Norwich.Picture: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHE

A driver using a mobile phone while driving down Grapes Hill in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

Police in Norfolk are stepping up their efforts to catch those who use a mobile phone while driving with a new campaign.

Norfolk Constabulary has this week launched its #StandingUpForHangingUp drive, with the aim of tackling those who text and talk while behind the wheel.

It involved 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.

Head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team temporary Chief Insp Jon Chapman said: "Although we continue to target these offences throughout the year, these campaigns give us the opportunity to target the #Fatal4 offences which make you more likely to be involved in a collision. The aim to improve road safety and reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Norfolk Constabulary police officers putting crime correspondant Peter Walsh through the roadside te

Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman of Norfolk Constabulary. - Credit: Steve Adams

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"We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe and we are urging drivers to think twice and don’t answer the phone whilst driving. It is not worth the risk.”

He added that drivers who use a mobile phone at the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, are less likely to notice or react to hazards and tend to show poor lane discipline.

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.

The launch of the Police and Crime Commissioner's road safety scheme Impact at Norwich City College.

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green. - Credit: Denise Bradley

"There is simply no excuse. Please listen to the advice and warnings given by my police colleagues and make a change to your behaviour. Think of other road users and remember the life you save may even be your own.”

The campaign runs until Sunday, February 14.