Police call for drivers to stop using their mobiles

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motorists are being warned they face hefty fines and a ban from the roads in a new police crackdown on drivers using mobile phones.

Drivers caught using mobiles will receive an automatic £60 fine and three penalty points but if cases reach court magistrates can fine up to £1,000 and disqualify motorists.

Bus and lorry drivers can be fined £2,500.

Derbyshire Police are running the crackdown this week to coincide with the charity Brake’s Road Safety Week.

In Derbyshire extra officers will be patrolling roads looking for offending motorists.

Between April 2010 and March this year, 1,362 drivers were given fixed penalty notices for using a mobile in Derbyshire.

The year before 1,696 drivers were caught.

Insp Adam Waterfall said: “Using a mobile phone while driving can severely slow your reaction time, making it harder for you to control your speed and lane position and in turn, making it more likely for you to have a collision.

“Drivers who talk on a phone are four times more likely to be involved in a crash and reading or writing text messages behind the wheel is even more distracting as you focus your eyes and mind on your mobile.”

The mobile phone campaign is part of Derbyshire Police’s commitment to tackle the ‘fatal four’ most common causes of collisions - drink or drug driving, using a mobile phone, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

In September a crackdown on motorists who fail to wear seatbelts when behind the wheel led to 117 drivers across the county being cautioned.