Force recommends drivers put their phones on silent, or better still, turn them off
The dangers of using a mobile phone while driving will be highlighted this month as part of a national road safety campaign. Using a mobile phone while driving is a leading cause of collisions and many of those result in serious injury or death.
Last year, over a quarter of all collisions in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire that involved a motorist who was using their mobile phone ended in fatality or serious injury.
For this reason, Bedfordshire Police is urging all motorists to put their mobile phones away and avoid unnecessary distractions.
Chief Inspector Stephen O’Keeffe, head of the tri-force Roads Policing Unit, said:
“You might think glancing down at your phone is ok but not looking where you are driving is incredibly dangerous.
“At that moment you are not aware of what is happening around you. It only takes a second for circumstances to change and for you to be involved in a collision, either with another road user or a pedestrian.
“At a time when emergency services are under unprecedented strain, we must do everything in our power to look after ourselves and those around us. That includes not putting lives at risk by driving dangerously.”
“Too many people think that quickly checking their phone while driving is just a minor thing that won’t cause any harm.
“However, we know from our work as police officers who attend collisions just how high the risk is. Many of the collisions involving mobile phone use result in serious injuries or even deaths.
“We would urge everyone to think about the potential consequences of their actions and put their phone away while at the wheel.”
Bedfordshire Police will be running operations to support the campaign, supported by the force’s Special Constabulary.
It is recommended that drivers put their phones on silent or better still, turn them off, and place them in the glove compartment before setting off.
Motorists who use their phone while driving face a minimum £200 fine and six points on their license. These figures can be much higher if a case goes to court.
Offenders who passed their test within two years will be automatically disqualified from driving and will need to take their DVLA test again.