Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police’s Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit will be the first unit in the country to utilise new technology to help reduce the amount of people using their mobile phones whilst driving.
Working with technology Company Westcotec, the Joint Operations Unit will be using a new piece of technology which can detect when drivers are using their phones without using a hands free device.
The technology can detect how many cars on a particular stretch of road are using their phones without hands free. It will help officers to target particular hotspots for enforcement.
Additionally, when someone using their phone is detected, the device will flash a mobile phone symbol at the car, advising them to stop using their mobile phone.
The technology can detect when Bluetooth is being used but cannot detect if a passenger is using the phone, but the sign will still be activated reminding motorists of the distraction of a mobile phone whilst driving.
As of 1st March 2017, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200 if you are found to be driving whilst using a mobile phone. Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.
PC Liz Johnson, a Roads Safety Officer for the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said:
“Research shows us that you are four times more likely to crash if you are using a mobile phone whilst driving, reaction times are around 50% slower than a driver not using a mobile phone.
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“It is also apparent that you are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision when texting compared with drink driving.
“It is vital that people take notice and stop using their mobile phones whilst driving”.