Police in Milton Keynes have begun a week of activity specifically targeting drivers using hand-held mobile phones. with the aim of drawing attention to the risks posed by being distracted while in control of a vehicle.
The aim of the initiative by Thames Valley and Hampshire’s Joint Roads Policing Unit is simple; to draw attention to the risks posed by being distracted while in control of a vehicle.
In March 2017 the law changed that meant drivers now receive six points on their driving licence and receive a £200 fine.
These changes will have a significant impact on young new drivers as they risk having their licence revoked on first offence.
Road safety sergeant Chris Appleby said: “We are still seeing too many people deciding to take that risk to use their mobile phone whilst driving, whether looking at a text, making and receiving calls or even surfing the internet.
“Doing any of these will clearly impair and distract your ability to drive a vehicle safely.
“Research has shown that talking on a mobile phone can impair your ability to drive more than if you were driving whilst over the drink drive limit.
“You are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision texting as drink driving. You are much less aware of what’s happening around you and fail to see road signs, maintain a proper lane position or a steady speed. Drivers end up feeling more stressed and frustrated and are more likely to ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front or enter unsafe gaps in traffic.”
Drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a collision whilst using a mobile phone or being distracted in a vehicle and your reactions are 50% slower.
Chris adds: “I am urging all motorists to not take that risk, a moments inattention can be the difference between life and death. We have all seen the devastation caused by those who take the risks. Please think twice before answering a call, looking at a text or browsing your phone, let’s have no more innocent people lose their life.
“My advice is to turn your phone off whilst driving, put it out of reach, and out of view. This way you won’t be tempted to look at it and become distracted. It’s not worth the risk.”
Also by the Milton Keynes Citizen newspaper: