Gwent Police launch All-Wales anti-mobile phone driving campaign 2012
A campaign to discourage drivers from using their mobile phones while behind the wheel has been launched by the four police forces in Wales.
Led by Gwent Police and partnership with Road Safety Wales, the All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone Driving Campaign was launched on Monday.
Driving and using a mobile phone became an offence in February 2007. If caught, drivers face three penalty points and a £60 fine.
Police patrols which target mobile-using drivers will be increased over the course of the campaign running between October 8 and October 21.
Inspector Lee Ford, of Gwent Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “The consequences of a momentary lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians.
“As soon as a driver answers a call, looks at their phone to text or read a message, their concentration is affected and as a result, they cannot give their full attention to the road and risk becoming involved in a collision.
“With the greater use of smart phones, drivers need to be aware that it is not just making a call or texting that are distractions, but using a phone to access applications, emails or the internet. These actions carry the same danger, hence, the same penalty.
“Remember to switch off before you drive and pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so. If you need to use the phone when driving, then stop at the first safe opportunity.”
Sue Storch, chair of Road Safety Wales, added: “Road Safety Wales partners will support our police colleagues throughout this campaign by publicising the dangers of using a mobile device while driving.
“We will continue to raise awareness of this issue and work closely with our colleagues in future campaigns.”
Phil Pinches, head of road safety at South Wales Fire and Rescue, said: “We fully support this focus on reducing instances of mobile phone use by drivers as evidence suggests that a significant number of collisions are caused by people being distracted by mobile phones.
“We must endeavour to make mobile phone use while driving as socially unacceptable as not wearing seatbelts.”Follow @CaerphillyObsvr