Hampshire Police catch 141 motorists using phone while driving

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James Laurie. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

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DOZENS of drivers were caught using their mobile phones at the wheel in a week-long police crackdown.

In total, 141 motorists were caught out, with one even spotted getting his young child to answer the phone before passing him the handset.

My advice is to turn off your phone and other devices while driving

Hampshire Constabulary Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard

Officers from the Hampshire and Thames Valley Joint Operation Unit took part in the sting.

Hampshire Constabulary Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard, said: ‘It seems many people still do not understand the dangers of using a mobile phone, other handheld devices or other distractions while driving.

‘The number of drivers caught gas halved compared to a similar operation in January.

‘However this still isn’t good enough. The majority of people know they should not be using a phone or device at the wheel, but don’t seem to understand what a huge distraction it is.

As well as imposing penalties on drivers who were caught, dedicated officers used the campaign as an opportunity to educate motorists to the dangers of distraction driving. Police said a number of stopped drivers came up with excuses.

Examples included:

* A driver on a mobile threw the phone onto the back seat when officers indicated the vehicle should pull over.

* A driver got their child to answer their mobile before being handed the phone to chat.

* A driver who was given a penalty notice threw it back at the officer and drove off in the hope that it would go away. It won’t.

* A driver had attached headphones to their phone which was attached to the windscreen in order to watch YouTube.

Sgt Heard added: ‘Distraction can be a major contribution in road accidents. By looking at your phone or tablet’s screen or using it you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision and your reaction times can be around 50% slower.

‘My advice is to turn off your phone and other devices while driving, put it out of reach, and out of view. This way you won’t be tempted to look at it and become distracted. It’s not worth the risk.’