Cheshire Constabulary is taking part in a national week of action against drivers who use their mobile phone behind the wheel.
The week of action begins on 15 April, with officers taking part in enforcement and educational activity in support of the National Police Chief Council’s country-wide campaign.
It’s a well-known fact that using a mobile phone while driving is one of the main contributory factors in a fatal collision so officers will be on the lookout for anyone taking a call, texting or scrolling through their phone while driving.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “Making our roads safer is one of my key priorities and I am pleased that Cheshire police is taking part in this national campaign to reduce the numbers of drivers using a mobile phone in Cheshire.
“Using a phone whilst driving is completely irresponsible. Not only does it put the lives of the driver themselves at risk but could also risk of the lives of other road users or pedestrians.
“I am shocked at the sheer number of people who continue to use their mobile phone behind the wheel when they are well aware of the dangers and know they are breaking the law. Scrolling through social media or checking a text message is not worth the loss of someone’s life or a lengthy prison sentence.”
Head of Cheshire police’s roads and crime unit, superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell, added: “National statistics suggest that drivers who use mobile phones behind the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision. Why drivers continue to use their phones while knowing this, utterly baffles me.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the majority, if not all, road users know that it is against the law to use their mobile phone while driving. Many people try and hide it down by their laps in a bid to avoid being caught. We will have covert vehicles and officers out and about on the lookout for people brazen enough to flout the law. These covert officers could be in vans, on motorbikes or pedestrians – can you be certain you’re not being spotted by officers?
“There is an absolute fundamental need to take road traffic offences seriously. People are dying on our roads as a result of people’s reckless decisions and it is an absolute tragedy for those families who have lost their loved one. There is no excuse. If caught using your mobile phone while driving, you will face the prospect of a £200 fine and six penalty points on your licence and, if you’re under 21, you could lose your licence.”
As well as enforcement, the campaign will focus on educating drivers about the dangers of driving whist using a mobile phone. Throughout the week-long operation the force will be issuing messages through the @CheshirePolice and @CheshPolTaskforce social media accounts.