Don’t be distracted, just drive. That’s the message from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit in support of a National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) campaign targeting those who use a mobile phone whilst driving.
Sgt Ian Manley from the BCH RPU said: “There are serious and sometimes fatal consequences of using your phone whilst behind the wheel. I would ask all drivers to consider, is it really worth it?
“The answer is of course no so please turn your phone off, on do not disturb or put it where you won’t be distracted by it or be tempted to pick it up.”
More than 1,500 people were caught using their mobile phone across the three counties in 2018.
Bedfordshire – 371
Cambridgeshire – 483
Hertfordshire – 717
Of those dealt with, 81 per cent were men. In Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire they were mainly aged between 22 and 36 years old, while in Hertfordshire the age band was 27 to 41 years old.
Sgt Manley added: “You are putting yourselves and other road users in serious danger if you use a mobile whilst driving. It takes just moments for a collision to occur if you are distracted so don’t be, just drive.”
If you’re caught using a hand-held device whilst driving or riding you will get an automatic Fixed Penalty Notice which means six points on your licence and a fine of £200.
Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 if you’re driving a lorry or bus).
If you passed your driving test in the last two years you’ll lose your licence.
In some circumstances, for example if use of a phone has caused or contributed to an accident, the police may prosecute for driving without due care or dangerous driving in order to secure a more severe punishment.