South Yorkshire Police on lookout for drivers using mobile phones
Police officers are on the lookout for motorists using their mobile phones while behind the wheel.
The move forms part of a national crackdown, with motorists being warned that they are four times more likely to be involved in a collision if they are driving while using a mobile.
Drivers are being reminded that using a hands free device impairs judgement and reaction time just as much as being on a phone.
The force has a dedicated car patrolling the streets looking for those committing the ‘fatal four’ motoring offences – speeding, drink and drug driving, using a mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt.
Sergeant Matt Duffy said: “It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving or riding a motorcycle but we find more and more people ignore the law and using your mobile is becoming the ‘social norm’. It is dangerous and costs lives.
“If you are caught using your mobile phone you could be given six penalty points and a £200 fine. If you have passed your driving test in the last two years, you will automatically lose your licence.
“Fines and points do not seem to deter drivers enough, and we are living in a world where we are addicted to our mobile phones.
“If you find it hard to not use your mobile phone while driving lock it away, store it in your handbag or glovebox out of reach and sight.”
He added: “We are living and working in unprecedented times, where there is a high strain and demand being put on our NHS. Road traffic collisions add to this pressure.
“A collision ties up police, ambulance, air ambulance and hospital resources, and for those causing a collision by using their mobile phone, it can all be avoided, please think and put your phone down.”
Joanne Wehrle, manager of the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership, said: “We cannot stress the importance of giving driving your full attention, especially at a time when our key workers are massively over stretched.
“If you’re travelling for essential reasons, please do not risk lives. Distractions can be deadly.”