Month-long campaign to crackdown on mobile phone use behind the wheel

A campaign is being launched to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving

A campaign is being launched to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving - Credit: Archant

Police in Cambridgeshire have launched a month-long campaign to crack down on people who use a mobile phone whilst driving.

To support the campaign, Highways England have provided the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (RPU) with a HGV cab to assist with enforcement.

The HGV provides a vantage point for officers to catch drivers using their mobile phones behind the wheel.

Sergeant Ian Manley, of the RPU, said: “Drivers can hide a phone or mobile device in their lap whilst driving, making it hard for officers to detect and prevent dangerous driving. This support from Highways England will allow us to monitor all vehicles through the use of the HGV.

“Using a mobile phone whilst driving is one of the Fatal Four causes of collisions. We need to educate the public that this behaviour is completely unacceptable. Using a phone behind the wheel not only puts your life at risk, but also endangers other road users around you.”

Last year in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, 2089 people were caught using a mobile phone while driving. Additionally, a recent poll has shown that 31 per cent of people in Cambridgeshire admitted to using a mobile phone to make a call, change music or text while driving.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Jason Ablewhite said: “Too many lives have been irreversibly changed as a result of people using mobile phones behind the wheel. Through this campaign, we can help reinforce the dangers involved and remind people that if you use a mobile phone while driving, you significantly increase your chances of being involved in a serious, even fatal collision.

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“Together we need to continue doing everything we can to make using mobile phones while driving as socially unacceptable as drink or drug driving.”

Stephen Greenhill, Highways England Asset Development Manager for Cambridgeshire, said: “Safety is at the heart of what we do at Highways England, as we support the police in making our roads safer by ensuring road users drive legally and appropriately.

“We’re pleased to work with them and loan them our HGV cab so they can catch drivers who are breaking the law by looking at their phones, eating, reading, and the other activities that have been recorded. It can be difficult for police to see what HGV drivers are up to when they’re in their cars, so the HGV cab helps them to get a better view and ensure that they don’t get away with breaking the law while driving.”