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Police catch 133 drivers using phone in one week

By Aimee Jones | Crime | Published:

More than 130 drivers in the West Mercia region were caught using their mobile phone at the wheel during the first week of a police campaign.

West Mercia Police and the Safer Roads Partnership are taking part in a national crackdown on motorists who use their phone while driving.

During the first week of the campaign, launched by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), 133 motorists across West Mercia were caught committing the crime.

It's over two years since new legislation was introduced, increasing both the fine and licence points if caught using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: "I am staggered that 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 while driving is simply not acceptable and, two years after the new legislation was introduced, it appears that more people need to understand that."

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.

New drivers - those who have passed within the last two years - face having their licence revoked if caught just once.

Mr Campion added: "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."

West Mercia Police has vowed to continue the crackdown throughout the duration of the two-week campaign, which runs until Sunday, and beyond,

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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, according to police.

Officers are encouraging motorists 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.

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 causation factor.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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