West Midlands Police are taking part in a national two week campaign to crack down on the minority of irresponsible motorists who use their mobile phones whilst driving, putting lives at risk.
Traffic officers are monitoring motorists across the region to stop anyone making calls, texting or watching videos illegally rather than concentrating on the road.
The police are working alongside partners in the West Midlands Fire Service and council road safety teams to highlight the dangers and educate motorists. This includes speaking to those in stationary traffic and warning of the potential consequences of their actions.
Anyone caught faces six penalty points and a £200 fine following tougher penalties which were introduced by the Government in 2017.
When I was Transport Minister I recognised the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving and in 2003 I introduced the ban. Using a mobile phone behind the wheel is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which increases your chances of being killed or seriously injured in a collision on the road; alongside speeding, drink/drug driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
It alarms me when I see drivers using their phones whilst behind the wheel. West Midlands Police is taking part in this initiative to stop drivers who choose to endanger not only their life, but the lives of other drivers and pedestrians.
Studies have found that motorists who use a mobile phone while driving are four times more likely to crash.
Driving while using a mobile phone is completely irresponsible. Losing concentration for a few seconds can have devastating consequences and result in lives being lost or ruined.
I am committed to keeping our roads safe and campaigns like this are a vital tool to help us catch those who endanger the lives of others.
There is no excuse for using mobile phones whilst driving and the minority that do put the lives of many others at risk.
The campaign is about saving lives and will be welcomed by all responsible by the majority of sensible drivers.
David Jamieson, PCC