Week-long crackdown planned in Norfolk to target drivers using mobile phones
PUBLISHED: 17:22 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 20:06 19 January 2018
A week-long crackdown will see police in Norfolk target drivers using their mobile phones behind the wheel.
Operation Ringtone will run from Monday, January 22 to Sunday, January 28, coinciding with a nationwide campaign led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
It will see officers patrol roads in marked and unmarked cars and motorbikes, all fitted with cameras to secure evidence for successful prosecutions.
From January to December last year, 1,040 penalty notices were issued in Norfolk for the offence of driving while using a mobile - including 67 people caught during the last week of action in July.
Chief inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: “We believe driving whilst using a mobile phone is just as dangerous as drink or drug-driving and are determined to make it as socially unacceptable as those offences.
“Mobile phones in vehicles are a distraction and can cause serious or even fatal collisions. A momentary glance down at your phone means you are not paying full attention to the road and are not in proper control of your vehicle.”
He urged people to put phones out of reach, either in bags or gloveboxes.
The penalties for driving while using a phone were increased last year - anyone caught doing so will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine.
Lorne Green, Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner, said: “The work police and partners do, not just during campaign weeks but all year round, to educate drivers is undoubtedly making people more aware of the dangers and I fully support increased enforcement campaigns like this to target offenders and bring them to justice.
“But there is only so much our police can do to keep Norfolk’s roads safe – the rest comes down to social responsibility.”
He said “dangerous driving kills” - whether through speed, drink, drugs, failing to wear a seatbelt or being distracted.
Police are also continuing to encourage people to use the reporting form on their website, through which they can submit dash cam footage to support the fight.
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