Motorists caught using mobile phones reaches record high
1st February, 2017

More than 10,000 vehicles were stopped by police as part of a week-long crackdown on mobile phone use in November, detecting nearly 8,000 offenders.

Thatcham Research has welcomed the addition of two more Euro NCAP five star performers, the Peugeot 3008 and Mercedes E Class but criticised optional fit safety equipment.

Police from 36 forces took part in the campaign, which saw more than 7,800 fixed penalty notices issued as well as hundreds of verbal warnings given and 68 court summons.

This is the highest ever total for a week of enforcement on distraction driving.

Recent studies show use of mobile phones when driving is widespread and the risks drastically underestimated.

The first planned mobile phone enforcement campaign of 2017 takes place this week.

Operations include:

  • Targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams to catch offender
  • Partnership with local authorities and emergency services to deter people from taking the risks
  • Innovative digital campaigns to communicate that the risks are more serious than people think
  • Community ‘spotters’ to highlight hotspots and repeat offenders to police
  • Advising the public about changes to penalties for mobile phone use by driving from March 1, 2017

Chief constable Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for roads policing, said: “This week forces will be working to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink-driving through enforcing strong deterrents and powerful messages to make people think twice about their driving habits.

“Encouraging results from last year’s campaign against mobile phone use show how effective new tactics and innovative approaches can be.

"Officers will continue to use intelligence-led tactics to target police activity and resources and catch repeat offenders.

“Forces will be working throughout the year to tackle this behaviour by motorists with national partners and the public.

“Remember: when at the wheel, your calls or texts can wait. Keep your eyes on the road.”