SERP welcomes mobile phone crack down
The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) has welcomed a week-long crackdown on illegal mobile phone use across the country, which got underway yesterday (22 January).
Under the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) campaign, officers in Essex are conducting targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams.
A similar operation in July 2017 saw more than 8,000 drivers stopped and 2,595 offences detected.
The NPCC says early indications suggest that the new tougher penalties introduced in March 2017 are having an impact, with around 11% fewer drivers stopped in the three months post-legislation than in the preceding three months.
Chief constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC lead for roads policing, said:
“Nearly a year on from legislation to toughen the sanctions for using a phone at the wheel, we are seeing some change in driver behaviour but there are still too many people underestimating the risk they take.
“If you glance at a phone for even 2.3 seconds while driving at 30mph you miss 100ft of road. That is the equivalent to the length of Boeing 737.
“If you do use your phone at the wheel, don’t be surprised to be stopped by police and to receive a fine and points on your licence.”
Since March 2017, Essex Police has processed 2,050 mobile phone offences.
Nicola Foster, chair of SERP, said:
“We all regularly see drivers of all types of vehicles using a hand held phone – and the vast majority of road users are appalled by this behaviour.
“Not only does SERP support this campaign by the NPCC, but I’m sure it will have widespread support from road users across Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock.
“Anyone with a camera can report this dangerous behaviour via our Extra Eyes campaign which has been set up to make it easy for people to report instances of poor and dangerous driving.”
23 January 2018