Hampshire police catch 115 drivers using their phones at the wheel in five days

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TEACHERS, pensioners and lorry drivers were among more than 100 motorists caught driving while using their smart phones or texting in a five-day police operation.

The operation targeting distracted drivers took place from November 2 until 6 along the M27, M3, A34 and M4 during morning rush hour.

Officers from the Hampshire and Thames Valley Commercial Vehicle Unit caught 115 drivers on film, by using the cab of an unmarked truck provided by Highways England.

Sergeant Paul Diamond, who led the operation, said: ‘Its main purpose was to identify drivers who were accessing smart phones and texting as they drove. These offences are more difficult to see in a standard police car so we used a higher vehicle to be able to gain a view.

‘We mounted the operation in response to concerns we received from the truck driving community. They were telling us that they had seen an increase in distracted drivers - principally those texting at the wheel or accessing their smart phone apps whilst driving.’

The offence carries three points and a £100 fine.

Offending motorists came from all walks of life including students, pensioners, teachers, tradesmen, and lorry drivers.

Officers also reacted to any other offences and issued tickets for not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, and driving without tax and insurance.

Sgt Diamond said: ‘This operation appears to confirm what we have heard from the lorry driving community. Distracted driving continues to be a significant problem in terms of road safety.

‘Driving is a task that requires complete attention. Our officers don’t want to be giving these people points and fines but ultimately we have a duty to prevent injuries. For that reason we will continue to mount these operations.’

Another of these operations will be held before the end of the year.