.

Points and fine doubles for drivers using mobiles

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 6:00am

Anyone caught driving whilst using a handheld mobile device in Staffordshire and Cheshire will now receive a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on their licence.

Punishments for offending motorists have doubled, in a bid to reduce the number of people who make calls, text, or check social media while behind the wheel.

It has been illegal to use a handheld mobile while driving since 2003.

Over the last year Cheshire Police has issued 2,463 tickets to motorist caught driving whilst using a mobile phone, up from 2,062 tickets the previous year.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “Driving whilst using a mobile phone is unacceptable, as they can distract drivers, which can put the lives of motorists and pedestrians at risk.

“Our roads policing team deal serious and fatal collisions on a daily basis, which can be harrowing and traumatic, but families are left to deal with the consequences for many years.”

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “Cheshire residents told me that road safety is a major priority for them and as a result it features strongly within my Police & Crime Plan. Driving whilst using a mobile phone is dangerous and in my opinion there is simply no excuse.

“I’m sure the majority a people would agree that it’s not worth putting lives at risk simply to take a phone call. I hope the new legislation acts as a strong deterrent to motorists who continue to decide to ignore the law.”

In Staffordshire, officers are calling on all drivers to sign an online pledge called BePhoneSmart, which gives drivers the chance to make a promise – to themselves, their family and their employer – that they won’t use a handheld phone while at the wheel. Drivers can then share it across social media profiles and encourage others to do the same.

Inspector Matt Derrick, from Staffordshire Police’s road crime team, said: “We can’t stress enough that using your mobile phone whilst driving is dangerous and irresponsible. There are no excuses – either pull over in a safe location or ignore your phone until you arrive at your location.

“Our officers are ready and prepared to issue penalty notices to all drivers found to be using a mobile phone whilst driving. Don’t be one of them, instead take two minutes and pledge to never use your mobile phone and endanger those around you.”

 

More from Local