Police to target motorists using mobile phones

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Cheshire Constabulary is taking part in a national crackdown against road users who use their mobile phone behind the wheel.

The operation runs between Monday 1st and Sunday 21st February, with the force taking part in enforcement and educational activity in support of the National Police Chief Council's country-wide campaign.

Officers will be out and about on the lookout for people using their mobile phone behind the wheel, or any of the other Fatal 5 offences (careless driving, speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt).

Head of Cheshire's Roads and Crime Unit, Jon Betts, said: "National statistics suggest that drivers who use mobile phones behind the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision.

"The majority, if not all, road users know that it is against the law to use their mobile phone while driving, yet some still decide to do it anyway. Many people even try and hide it down by their laps in a bid to avoid being caught.

"There is no excuse. If caught using your mobile phone while driving, you will face the prospect of a £200 fine and six penalty points on your licence and, if you're under 21, you could lose your licence. If you think you could be tempted to look at your mobile phone, then leave it well out of reach. That call/text/post on social media is not worth dying for."

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: "Making our roads safer is one of my key priorities and I am pleased that Cheshire police is taking part in this national campaign to reduce the numbers of drivers using a mobile phone on our county's roads.

"Using a phone whilst driving is completely irresponsible. Not only does it put the lives of the driver themselves at risk, it also risks the lives of other road users and pedestrians.

"I am shocked at the sheer number of people who continue to use their mobile phone behind the wheel when they are well aware of the dangers and know they are breaking the law. Scrolling through social media or checking a text message is not worth the loss of someone's life or a lengthy prison sentence."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

David Miller
Thursday 28th January 2021 at 5:40 pm
Whilst I welcome any initiative that will make our roads safer, I just fear that policing resource in Wilmslow and Cheshire East is currently weighted heavily towards those that generate revenue and not those that actually are causing the most worry and harm. I was broken into recently and had both my cars stolen, a story that we hear countless times now recently and yet I have seen no response from the Crime Commissioner with regards to what they are doing to tackle this issue. I recognise that gone are the days of the neighbourhood patrol from a police officer due to resources but they have sufficient resources to man the airport tunnels, the M56 and the A34 generating revenue. Surely they can do more than just catch people on their mobile phones.
Alan Slater
Friday 29th January 2021 at 3:21 pm
I think you miss a crucial point here.
Using a mobile whilst driving is a considerable safety issue.
David Miller
Friday 29th January 2021 at 5:10 pm
Alan, to be fair I think you miss the crucial part of my first sentence, "I welcome any initiative that will make our roads safer", I am a parent and totally agree with you, there are far too many people driving without due care and attention; be it due to speed or a mobile phone. I just see nothing being done about more pressing vehicle issues in residential areas, particularly theft. People don't feel safe anymore having a car on their driveway and as far as I can see nothing is being done about it
James MacDonald
Friday 29th January 2021 at 5:40 pm
Good news as long as those caught are fined and receive 6 points and not a warning. I still see many driving whilst using a phone and they are much more likely to kill others and / or themselves and their passengers. Safety is much more important than investigating stolen vehicles. You can replace a vehicle but you can’t replace a family member killed by a reckless driver.
Vince Chadwick
Friday 29th January 2021 at 7:18 pm
Use of phones while driving is a proven killer, often of innocent others. I welcome this crackdown. However, I wish it wasn't just a 'crackdown' but something targeted continually as a policing priority. It should be a higher priority for the police than speeding.

Neither are acceptable, but I'd rather meet a speeder as an opposite direction road user than one with his / her head down, texting.
Nik Eastwood
Wednesday 3rd February 2021 at 5:25 pm
hope they can catch people in the act. I seem to notice it a lot, youths mainly, especially drivers going onto, and off estates. I dont know if awareness courses are still available as a first offence but these should be stopped and go straight in for the fine and points. its more of a hard hitter imo.

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