15 drivers were caught using a mobile phone during a two-hour period in Bournemouth yesterday.
The enforcement campaign will run until Sunday and it aims to remind offenders of the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel. The crack-down will also let them know of the upcoming legislative changes on mobile phone offences.
PC Simon Fairholme of Dorset Police’s Road Traffic Unit recently said that one of the main problems is the fact that people are in a habit of using their gadgets.
He said: “The problem is that drivers don’t realise that using a mobile phone is one of the worst things you can do while behind the wheel.
Drinking and driving is socially unacceptable and driving with a mobile phone needs to be as well.”
Under the new upcoming rules, which come into effect on March 1, offending drivers will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine – double the previous penalty.
PC Sean Todd believes that these changes will have a significant impact on young motorists, who risk losing their licence if caught on the phone just once.
However, this opinion is not shared by everyone. Paul Newman runs a campaign, Hands Off, to warn people about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.
He believes that mere fines and points on a licence are not sufficient enough to be a solution. He said that by the time someone gets caught, it may be “too late.”
He said: “Using mobile phones while driving can cause horrendous accidents. We are working with the government to tackle the problem.”
He is trying to get new vehicle technology where your phone will automatically go to voicemail when it rings.
Paul highlighted that people are just too addicted to their phones – so this way it can take the temptation to answer away.
Most accidents are caused by distractions. However, according to a study by AT&T, 70% of drivers use their smartphones while operating vehicles.