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Police target Norfolk motorists using mobile phones at the wheel

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:54 02 July 2010

Richard Parr

More than 50 motorists have been caught using handheld mobile phones while behind the wheel during the first week of the month-long police crackdown in Norfolk.

More than 50 motorists have been caught using handheld mobile phones while behind the wheel during the first week of a month-long police crackdown in Norfolk.

Each driver was issued with a £60 fixed-penalty notice and had three penalty points added to his or her licence.

Motorists can also be fined if they are seen by officers using mobiles while waiting at traffic lights, and the law also applies to using mobiles to send text messages.

Insp Russell Hickford, of Norfolk Constabulary's road policing team, stressed the safety

message of the campaign as the figures were announced.

He said: “Drivers using mobile phones while driving are not only breaking the law but they are putting every other road user in danger as well. As the 'Think!' campaign underlines, any distraction can have horrifying consequences, and our officers will continue to react robustly to anyone taking that risk.”

A radio and poster advertising campaign warns drivers to “zip it behind the wheel” and says that “distracted drivers cause destruction”.

The first-week figures showed that:

t 34 fixed-penalty notices were issued in the Swaffham road policing area (including King's Lynn, Thetford and Hunstanton).

t 14 were issued in the Acle road policing area (including North Walsham, Great Yarmouth and Cromer).

t Four were issued in the Wymondham road policing area (including Norwich, Diss and Long Stratton).

Guy McCurley, chairman of the Think! Norfolk Partnership, said research conducted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) suggested that drivers were four times more likely to crash when using their mobile phone while driving.

“Despite this, and increased penalties if caught, there are still drivers who are being distracted by their mobile phones, risking their lives and lives of others,” he added.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact the news team on 01603 772443 or email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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