Police ask drivers to ditch their mobile phones and focus on the road
This March, Wiltshire Police are supporting the National Police Chiefs' Council's campaign to tackle drivers who use their mobile phones whilst driving.
Anything that distracts you from being able to concentrate on the road whilst driving, puts others in danger. For mobile phones, this goes beyond the making of a call, to texting, checking emails, browsing social media, sending snap chats, or selecting music.
New legislation that came into effect on 1 March 2017 meant that drivers caught using their mobile phone whilst behind the wheel now face six points on their driving license and a £200 fine. For some, this can result in the loss of their licence and the wider consequences for an individual this has. However, the true cost of distraction can sadly be far more tragic than just points and a fine.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said "Making our roads safer is part of the 'prevent crime and keep people safe' priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. The majority of road users are responsible and law abiding. There is however a minority of dangerous drivers who use a mobile phone behind the wheel that put everyone else at risk. We need to put road safety at the forefront of our minds and challenge this behaviour.
"Using a mobile phone whilst driving should be as much of a taboo as drink/drug driving. Most people would never dream of drink driving, but few people know that a driver distracted by a phone can be impaired to the same degree as a drink driver and be equally as dangerous."
Wiltshire Road Safety Unit Sergeant Simon Drewett said, "It is really important that drivers do not become complacent about road safety and take unnecessary risks with not only their own lives, but the lives of other road users too.
"If you use a phone whilst driving (and that includes hands free), then your attention is diverted away from the road and what is happening around you.
"Whether using a phone handheld or hands free, your risk of crashing increases 4 fold. Even glancing at a phone for 2.3 seconds whilst driving at 30mph, you miss 100ft of road. That is the equivalent to the length of Boeing 737."