Crackdowns launched on criminal drivers
Forces across England and Wales will come together to stop people from using their phones behind the wheel as new figures show two-thirds of motorists think they can get away with breaking the law.
Forces across England and Wales will come together to stop people from using their phones behind the wheel as new figures show two-thirds of motorists think they can get away with breaking the law. From Monday (January 22), officers will conduct targeted patrols against phone-using drivers in a week-long national operation. The crackdown, led by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), will see officers use unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cameras to catch offenders. Police Scotland has also launched a week-long initiative against the menace of uninsured drivers. Meanwhile, data from the AA shows 65 per cent of people think the lack of police on the roads means they are unlikely to be stopped for traffic offences. NPCC roads policing lead Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: Nearly a year on from legislation to toughen the sanctions for using a phone at the wheel, we are seeing some change in driver behaviour but there are still too many people underestimating the risk they take. If you glance at a phone for even 2.3 seconds while driving at 30mph you miss 100ft of road. That is equivalent to the length of a Boeing 737. Drivers, put safety first and keep your eyes on the road. If you do use your phone at the wheel, dont be surprised to be stopped by police and to receive a fine and points on your licence. Thirty-two people died in road traffic collisions involving phone-using drivers in 2016, according to Department for Transport figures. Since March last year, anyone caught using a phone at the wheel can be punished with six points on their licence and a £200 fine. Eleven per cent fewer drivers were stopped in the three months after the new sanctions were introduced than in the three months beforehand. The AA figures reveal that 55 per cent of people do not believe they will be caught driving vehicles in a dangerous condition. Another 54 per cent thought there was little chance of being stopped for using a mobile phone. More than four in ten claimed that police have no visible presence on motorways. Police Scotlands campaign, run in conjunction with the Motor Insurers Bureau, involves all roads policing officers across the country and is being delivered through mobile and static road checks. The force has seized 23,000 uninsured vehicles in the last three years alone. Chief Superintendent Stewart Carle, Police Scotlands head of roads policing, said: Officers will be using the latest intelligence to target potential uninsured drivers and hotspots, and by doing this we hope to minimise the inconvenience caused to the general public while maximising the effectiveness of the operation.