Between Monday 20th October and Sunday 26th October, Hampshire Officers caught a total of 178 drivers using a mobile phone behind the wheel in the force area. 66 of these were in the eastern area (including Portsmouth), 47 in the northern area (including Basingstoke), 47 in the western area (inclosing Southampton), and 16 on the Isle of Wight. The 2 remaining drivers were identified by other officers working in Hampshire.
As well as imposing penalties on drivers who were caught, dedicated officers also used it as an opportunity to educate motorists to the dangers of distraction driving. During the operation some of the excuses that drivers who were caught tried to use included: “I wasn’t talking”, “I didn’t realise I was using it”, and “I was looking at the time”.
Sergeant Rob Heard, said:
“These results are disappointing, and show that many people still do not understand the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving. The majority of the offenders are male and under 40. The results do demonstrate that there’s still work to do to get this serious message across to all drivers. If you are caught using a mobile behind the wheel, you will face prosecution, it’s that simple. My advice is to turn your phone off while behind the wheel to avoid the temptation to look at it.
“You are fours times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving. The reaction times for drivers are around 50 per cent slower than normal when using a phone”.
This hard-hitting video has been created by THINK! showing the dangers of mobile phones.