Roads policing officers target mobile phone users as part of national campaign
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Today (27 February) marks the return of an annual national campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and Thames Valley Police's Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit will be supporting the campaign from the National Police Chiefs' Council, which runs until 12 March.
Using a mobile phone while driving is one of the 'fatal four' factors that can significantly increase your chances of being involved in a collision where you or others are seriously injured or killed on our roads. The other three causes are speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
Our previous road safety campaign, Operation Holly, saw 737 arrests made across both force areas for a variety of offences, with 286 arrests in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight alone.
We will be conducting proactive patrols and safety checks across our road network to catch drivers risking their lives and the lives of other motorists by using their phone while driving.
Aside from the devastating consequences of a collision, drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving face a £200 fine and six points on their licence for a one-time offence, to a lengthy ban and a £1,000 fine for those caught twice.
New drivers – those who have passed within two years of being caught – face having their licence revoked if caught just once.
Chief Inspector Chris Spellerberg, of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said: "Using a mobile phone while driving is unacceptable, reckless and incredibly dangerous. Just being distracted from the road ahead of you for a split second could result in a serious crash.
"You are far more likely to be involved in a serious injury or fatal collision if you use your phone while driving. Focusing on the road and traffic conditions is always more important than using a mobile phone.
"Even hands free devices can be distracting enough to divert your attention away at a critical moment."