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Police in Wiltshire cracking down on mobile phone use while driving

Police in Wiltshire cracking down on mobile phone use while driving

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 6:14am 11th March 2020.

3 minute read

Officers are backing a national campaign reminding drivers of the dangers of using devices behind the wheel.

Throughout March, there's a push to tackle those who may be distracted by their phones.

We're being reminded that mobile phone use while driving isn't just about taking calls - it's texting, checking emails, scrolling social media and even changing music that's illegal.

Mobile Phone at the wheel - driving (Pixabay)
Being distracted by your phone for 2.3 seconds at 30 mph means you miss 100 feet of road

WHAT'S THE PENALTY?

If you're caught by police using your device behind the wheel, you'll face six points on your licence and a £200 fine.

Those penalties were increased in March 2017 to reflect the seriousness of the issue.

While that can have a big impact on a driver, the consequences could be far worse, according to Wiltshire Road Safety Unit Sergeant Simon Drewitt

"It is really important that drivers do not become complacent about road safety and take unnecessary risks with not only their own lives, but the lives of other road users too.

"If you use a phone whilst driving (and that includes hands free), then your attention is diverted away from the road and what is happening around you.

"Whether using a phone handheld or hands free, your risk of crashing increases 4 fold. Even glancing at a phone for 2.3 seconds whilst driving at 30mph, you miss 100ft of road. That is the equivalent to the length of Boeing 737."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, Angus Macpherson, said:

"Making our roads safer is part of the 'prevent crime and keep people safe' priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. The majority of road users are responsible and law abiding. There is however a minority of dangerous drivers who use a mobile phone behind the wheel that put everyone else at risk. We need to put road safety at the forefront of our minds and challenge this behaviour.

"Using a mobile phone whilst driving should be as much of a taboo as drink/drug driving. Most people would never dream of drink driving, but few people know that a driver distracted by a phone can be impaired to the same degree as a drink driver and be equally as dangerous."

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