Incidents of drivers using mobile phones while at the wheel falling in Cambridgeshire
- Credit: Archant
Incidents of motorists using their mobile phones while driving are continuing to fall, according to figures released by police.
In 2013, 3,023 incidents were recorded by of ficers in Cambridgeshire, compared to 2,415 incidents in 2014 and 2,342 last year.
And, according to figures obtained by The Hunts Post under a Freedom of Information request, police say just 685 incidents of motorists using their mobile phones while driving were recorded between January and July this year.
The news comes after a national study showed a spike in the number of motorists admitting to using a mobile phone to make or receive calls behind the wheel – 31 per cent say they have done so in the last 12 months, compared to just eight per cent in 2014.
The RAC Report on Motoring 2016 also found 19 per cent of people now send text messages, e-mails, and post on social media while driving, while just seven per cent did the same two years ago.
Despite a recent decrease in Cambridgeshire offences though, police are keen to keep the figures in decline.
“People who use a mobile phone while driving not only put their life at risk, but the lives of others,” Inspector Phil Bloor said.
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“Studies have shown that your reaction times are 50 per cent slower if you use a mobile phone while driving and you are four times more likely to have a collision. Comparisons have been made to it impairing your ability to drive to a similar degree as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text - and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.”
Police figures for Cambridgeshire also showed that people being sent to court for the offence is falling, with 409 cases heard in 2014 compared to 343 last year.
“These days more and more people have Bluetooth in their vehicles, so phoning is less of an issue, but it doesn’t stop people from doing other stuff on their phones,” Chief Constable Alec Wood told The Hunts Post.
“I would say to them [someone who uses a mobile phone while driving] just imagine how you would feel if you had a phone call or a knock on the door telling you that your father, daughter, mother, sister, whoever, had just been killed by somebody who was believed to have been using their mobile.
“It’s the consequences of what they’re doing and what people think is daily activity, but when it goes wrong it goes so badly wrong that it changes people’s lives forever.”