Police clamp down on motorists who use their phone behind the wheel

Police are appealing for witnesses after a knife point robbery
Police are appealing for witnesses after a knife point robbery

Motorists who use a mobile while driving will be told to “Put it Away” by police as part of a week-long campaign which started on Monday.

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit will be carrying out extra enforcement operations to tackle the issue.

Social media material from the Hertfordshire Road Safety Partnership’s “Put it Away” campaign will be used across the three counties to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

The operation coincides with a week-long campaign by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

The Government has announced plans to double the penalties for being caught using a phone behind the wheel to six points and a £200 fine in 2017.

For people who have been driving for less than two years this could mean a ban for one offence.

Driving while using a phone is considered one of the ‘fatal four’ driving offences, along with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink or drug driving.

Sergeant Ian Manley, from the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “Using a mobile phone whilst driving significantly increases your chances of being involved in a serious, even fatal collision.

“I hope this campaign helps to get an important safety message across to the public that using a mobile phone whilst driving is unacceptable. It puts not only your life at risk, but also the lives of others.

“We urge people to turn their phone off before they start their journey and put it away. Even a brief distraction could have serious consequences.”