MORE than 4,000 people in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas have a conviction for using their mobile phone at the wheel, according to the latest statistics.
The figures have been released during Road Safety Week, which calls on drivers to pay attention to road safety, a decade after mobiles were banned at the wheel.
The figures, obtained via a freedom of information request to the DVLA from road safety charity Brake, show 347 people living in the Bognor Regis post code area of PO21 have a conviction for using their mobile while driving – the highest individual area of the region.
But it shows that every area has hundreds of offenders.
In the UK, 575,000 people have points on their licence.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake said: ‘We’re living in an age when being constantly connected is the norm. It’s posing dangerous temptations to drivers.
‘Many people who wouldn’t dream of drink-driving are succumbing to using their phone while driving, oblivious that the effect can be similar and the consequences just as horrific.
‘We’re calling on drivers to turn off their phone or put it in the boot, and never try to multi-task at the wheel.
‘We are calling on government to do more to tackle driver distraction, by extending the ban to hands-free phones and upping fines.’
Superintendent Chris Brown, head of Hampshire Constabulary’s roads policing unit, said: ‘We run programmes to warn of the dangers of the fatal four: being distracted at the wheel, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and not wearing a seat belt.’
Road Safety Week runs until Sunday. For more information go to roadsafetyweek.org.uk
· PO1 Fratton/Old Portsmouth – 109
· PO2 North End – 247
· PO3 Hilsea – 112
· PO4 Southsea – 201
· PO5 Southsea/Eastney – 137
· PO6 Cosham/Drayton/Farlington – 235
· PO7 Waterlooville/Purbrook – 237
· PO8 Waterlooville/Horndean/Cowplain – 190
· PO9 Bedhampton/Leigh Park/Rowlands Castle – 279
· PO10 Emsworth – 92
· PO11, Hayling Island – 111
· PO12 Gosport – 187
· PO13 Lee-on-the-Solent - 122
· PO14 Stubbington/Titchfield - 136
· PO15 Whiteley - 116
· PO16 Fareham/Portchester – 154
· PO17 Wickham/Southwick - 38
· PO18 Compton/Bosham/East Lavant - 102
· PO19 Chichester - 146
· PO20 Selsey/West Wittering - 299
· PO21 Bognor Regis - 347
· PO22 Barnham - 261
· SO31 Warsash/Locks Heath/Park Gate - 228
· SO32 Bishop’s Waltham - 95
· GU31 South Harting - 37
· GU32 Petersfield - 47
Total - 4,265