Police Launch Campaign Targeting Motorists Who Use Phones Whilst Driving
The four police forces in Wales, led by Dyfed-Powys Police and in partnership with Road Safety Wales, are launching a major crackdown on motorists who use mobile phones whilst driving. The All Wales enforcement campaign will run from Thursday September 24 to Wednesday October 7, and is urging all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online.
Police patrols will increase across Wales for the duration of the enforcement campaign, to draw drivers attention to not only the risks posed by being distracted by mobile phones while in control of a vehicle, but the serious penalties which they will face if they are caught.
Nationally, the numbers of motorists using mobile phones to make calls, texts or social media updates whilst driving has risen and distracted driving is expected to be the biggest single cause of death and injuries on roads as a result in 2015. In Wales more than 900 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel during the 2014 campaign.
Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police and NPCC All Wales lead on Roads Policing, Carl Langley said: “Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. This campaign is just one part of our ongoing effort to target and reduce the number of drivers who risk becoming involved in a serious or fatal collision due to using a mobile phone whilst driving.
“With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty. Far too many tragedies on our roads are avoidable – our message is simple, keep your eyes on the road. You can pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so, but not whilst you are driving. A lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians, and this is why officers from all four Welsh forces will be carrying out proactive patrols to target motorists who endanger road users in this way.”
Chair of Road Safety Wales Susan Storch said: “Driving a vehicle requires us to multi-task so anything above and beyond needs to wait until we are safely parked up or until our journey has finished."
"Campaigns such as this demonstrate the resolve of all the Road Safety Wales partners in tackling this issue and we will continue to work together to drive home the message of not using your mobile phone behind the wheel. No call or text is that important."
During the 2014 campaign officers detected a total of 914 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales.
Dyfed-Powys Police issued 447 fixed penalty notices, Gwent Police issued 72 notices, North Wales Police issued 53 TOR’s (Traffic Offence Reports) while in the South Wales area 342 offenders were apprehended.
You can get a fixed penalty notice if you’re caught, resulting in a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence. Be aware that if you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.
Don't make or answer calls when you're driving
All phone calls distract drivers' attention from the road. You can pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so. If you need to use the phone when driving, then stop at the first safe opportunity.
It's illegal to use a hand-held mobile when driving on the road even if you've stopped at traffic lights or are stuck in a traffic jam or are in a car park
All these situations are covered by the legal definition of 'driving on the road'.
Park safely before using your mobile phone
Do not park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
Don't call other people when they're driving
If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely.