Drivers warned after police catch 178 in mobile phone crackdown

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An exercise involving Hampshire emergency services has been held on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at HMNB Portsmouth.  Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, Hampshire Ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and Portsmouth Naval Bases Emergency Response Team (ERT) were put through their paces on board the Royal Navys brand new aircraft carrier.  The ship put together a realistic harbour fire exercise with training smoke and mock casualties to test their agencies in their response and in working together to combat an emergency on an extremely unfamiliar environment.

IN PICTURES: The first major emergency training exercise on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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OFFICERS from the Hampshire and Thames Valley Joint Operation Unit have undertaken a week-long operation targeting people who use their mobile phones while driving.

Between Monday, October 20 and Sunday, October 26, Hampshire officers caught a total of 178 drivers using a mobile phone behind the wheel. A total of 66 of these were in the eastern area, including Portsmouth.

As well as imposing penalties on drivers who were caught, officers also used it as an opportunity to educate motorists to the dangers of driving while distracted.

Sergeant Rob Heard said: ‘These results are disappointing, and show that many people still do not understand the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

‘The majority of the offenders are male and under 40. The results do demonstrate that there’s still work to do to get this serious message across to all drivers.

‘If you are caught using a mobile behind the wheel, you will face prosecution, it’s that simple. My advice is to turn your phone off while behind the wheel to avoid the temptation to look at it.

‘You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving.’