15 November 2016
‘Community Spotters’ Recruited to Report Drivers Using Mobile Phones
Police are asking members of the public to report drivers illegally using mobile phones at the wheel as part of a new scheme to crack down on repeat offenders.
The pilot scheme is part of a national crackdown, which includes increased patrols in unmarked vehicles.
Potential volunteers, which could include driving instructors, would pass on the details of offenders to officers.
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, roads policing lead at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Forces are coming together this week with innovative approaches to catching those driving when distracted and campaign to make drivers think twice about using their mobiles at the wheel.
“Tackling mobile phone use by drivers requires police enforcement using new technology and tactics to maximise the numbers of people we can stop, combined with strong effective penalties and creative national campaigns to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.”
A week of action against motorists using their phones in May saw 2,323 offences detected, according to the NPCC.
It is illegal for anyone to use any type of hand-held communications device when they are driving. This includes when stationary if the engine is running.
In a recent RAC report 31 per cent of drivers have admitted to making calls whilst driving in the past year, compared with eight per cent in 2014. The 2016 RAC Report on Motoring found that in the last year 26 per cent of motorists have checked emails, texts or social media whilst driving, 19 per cent have written emails, texts or on social media and 14 per cent have even made videos or taken photos.
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