MORE than 130 motorists across West Mercia were caught in the first week of a crackdown on drivers using their mobile phone at the wheel.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) campaign started on April 15 and came to an end yesterday (Sunday).
Figures up to last Monday (April 22) revealed 133 motorists across West Mercia were caught using their mobile phone at the wheel, say the West Mercia Police and the Safer Roads Partnership.
It’s more than two years since new legislation was introduced, increasing both the fine and licence points if caught using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.
Motorists caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving face a £200 fine and six points on their licence.
Drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban, which could also then lead to a £1,000 fine while new drivers – those who have passed within the last two years – face having their licence revoked if caught just once.
Drivers using a mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, and are four times more likely to be involved in a collision.
Drivers are encouraged to put their phone away before starting a journey so they are not tempted to use it, and only use their phone once they’ve stopped in a safe place.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I am staggered there are still so many people choosing to ignore this law. We know all too well the dangerous consequences that a lack of concentration for even a split second can have.
“The use of phones whilst driving is simply not acceptable and, two years after the new legislation was introduced, it appears more people need to understand that.
“There is still a lot of work to be done around changing the culture and I will continue to support the police by ensuring they have the resources to make our roads safer.
“However, this isn’t a problem that can be tackled by the police alone. That is why I will continue to work with our communities to show that this dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Since 2016 there have been four fatalities, 15 serious injuries and 54 slight injuries in West Mercia where use of a mobile phone was recorded as a cause.