Highest recorded number of drivers caught in one week using mobiles
Police caught almost 50 drivers every hour using their mobile phone behind the wheel
A clampdown on motorists using their mobile phone whilst driving resulted in the police catching nearly 50 drivers every hour in just one week.
The week-long clampdown in November last year targeted drivers using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel and, alarmingly, a record number of motorists were caught by the police.
Every hour during that one week in November, police in the UK caught 47 motorists using their mobile phone whilst driving, meaning the overall figure for the week meant nearly 8,000 drivers were pulled up after being spotted using their mobile phone.
In total, the police issued some form of penalty to 7,966 motorists during the operation, for the offence of driving whilst using a mobile phone.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) released the new figures, which showed that 36 police forces across the UK handed out over 7,800 fixed penalty notices, 68 court summons and hundreds of verbal warnings, resulting in a record number of motorists being caught.
To try and tackle the problem of mobile phone use whilst driving, the NPCC have launched a campaign this week, starting Monday, January 23, running until Sunday, January 29.
The figure for the week long clampdown in November has increased by more than three times compared to a similar enforcement week held in May last year, where just 2,323 mobile phone-using offenders were caught.
In recent studies, almost 11 million motorists in the UK owned up to using a mobile phone whilst driving, meanwhile, people saying it’s okay to drive whilst using a mobile increased from just 7 per cent to 14 per cent.
To crackdown on the use of mobile phones whilst driving, police forces in the UK are now looking at inviting members of the public to become ‘community spotters’, as well as creating partnerships with local authorities to help tackle the issue.
New laws are in place already to deal with the growing problem and will come into effect some time during the first half of 2017. Drivers caught breaking the new law will be handed a fixed penalty notice of £200, rather than the current £100 and six points on their licence, instead of the present three points.
“This week, forces will be working to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink driving, through enforcing strong deterrents and powerful messages, to make people think twice about their driving habits,” said Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing.
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