POLICE have launched an operation to stop people using their mobile phone while driving.
Hampshire police’s roads policing officers from the Joint Operations Unit are taking part in a nationwide week-long initiative targeting those who continue to ignore the dangers by using their phone when behind the wheel.
About 15 per cent of fatal collisions in Hampshire have involved the driver being distracted or using a mobile phone, yet despite these potentially fatal consequences, police say motorists are still taking that risk.
This week officers across the county will be stopping drivers caught using their phones, issuing penalties, and educating motorists about the dangers of distraction.
The last campaign focusing on mobile phones took place in September and saw 160 drivers caught using their devices.
In 2015 a total of 5,540 people were caught in Hampshire using their mobile phone at the wheel.
Hampshire Constabulary’s Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard said: ‘This week’s campaign is to highlight the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving or driving whilst distracted.
‘The majority of people know they should not be using their phone whilst driving, but don’t seem to understand what a huge distraction it can be and take the risk.
‘By using your phone you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision and your reaction times can be around 50 per cent slower.’ You are far less aware of what’s happening on the road.’