This week, we are warning drivers about the dangers of using hand-held mobile phones while on the road and the potential consequences of their actions. While we appreciate most drivers adhere to the rules of the road, there are those who flout the law by checking messages or even taking pictures and video on the road. The penalties if you are caught are severe, six points and a £200 fine, but a brief distraction could result in a life-changing crash.
RPU Sergeant Phil Dix, who has seen first-hand the effects of using a phone when on the road, has also made a personal plea to residents. He said: “I’ve attended many road traffic collisions that have involved people using their mobile phones and becoming distracted and not seeing what is ahead of them. “Talking on the phone can distract you from driving. It’s not the same as having a passenger in your car who can warn you about a potential hazard - the person at the end of the phone can’t see that sort of thing.”
Our advice is: • Legally, you can’t use a hand-held device behind the wheel when the engine is turned on. This includes using a phone as a sat-nav, unless it is fixed into your car prior to setting off. You can only use a phone if it is fully hands-free. If you are holding your mobile, you must be safely parked with the engine turned off - not waiting at a red traffic light or in a traffic jam.
• If officers see you on your phone while driving, they will stop you. The penalties are severe, including a fixed penalty notice of £200 and six points on your license. If it is a second offence then you will be banned from driving. New drivers are banned for a first offence.
• If you know you can’t resist looking at your phone, put it on ‘do not disturb’ or ‘driving mode’ and place it in your glovebox, this will prevent people from ringing you when you are driving and lower your chances of being distracted.
• If you are on the road and see a driver using a hand-held mobile, you can report them here 👇🏼
You will need to submit subsequent evidence. This could include dashcam or helmet cam footage.
Please help us by sharing these messages with your family and friends by forwarding on this email.
If you are on the phone to someone who is driving, could you ask them to ring you back when they have reached a place of safety and have turned their engine off?
A delayed conversation is infinitely better than no conversation at all. Drive safely, Tom Moore (Corporate Communications)