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Ron Hogg welcomes new penalties for drivers who use mobile phones

Mobile-Phone-Driving

Image: Using mobile phone whilst driving

New penalties come into force tomorrow (1 March 2017), aimed at discouraging people from using their mobile phone whilst driving.

The penalties are doubling so that, as well as getting a £200 fine if caught using a phone behind the wheel, drivers will also now be given six points on their licence.

Research has shown that being distracted by a phone while driving, regardless of whether it is being used to make calls, messages or going online can make a driver up to 25 times more likely to be involved in a collision.

Ron Hogg, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, has long campaigned for tougher penalties for mobile phone use. He said: “These new penalties are a real deterrent to dangerous driving. But an even greater deterrent should be the knowledge that being distracted by a phone could result in an accident, serious injury to the driver and others, and even death. The phone call will wait. But if you kill someone, that is not something you can un-do.”

In one week in January, a total of 72 motorists were apprehended for using their mobile phones whilst driving in the Durham Constabulary area. The week of action was carried by the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit.

Ron added: “Action by the Force in January really demonstrated that the Constabulary is serious about apprehending people who use their mobile phones whilst driving, and these new penalties provide an extra incentive for drivers to ignore the distraction of a phone call."

-ENDS

For more information contact Jon Carling, Head of Policy and Communications, on 07814 174417 on at PCVC.media@durham.pcc.pnn.gov.uk

Posted on Tuesday 28th February 2017
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