DYING TO TAKE THE CALL
The four Welsh Police Forces, led by Dyfed-Powys Police, in partnership with Pembrokeshire Local Authority and Road Safety Wales are today (Thursday, 22nd September) launching the All Wales Anti-Mobile Phone Campaign.
Despite the law change in February 2007 where mobile phone driving results in three penalty points and a £60 fine, drivers in Wales are still persisting with this dangerous activity and breaking the law.
Police patrols to target mobile phone driving will increase across Welsh roads for the duration of the enforcement campaign, which runs from 22 September to 5 October, to promote the safety message and raise awareness of the dangers and penalties among motorists.
Chief Inspector Dave Roome from North Wales Police said: “The All Wales Anti Mobile Phone Driving Campaign is aimed at raising awareness amongst drivers about the real dangers involved when driving whilst using a mobile phone.
“Making and receiving calls and SMS texting whilst driving is still apparent on Welsh roads, and not only are those drivers risking their own lives, they are also risking the lives of other road users.
“Police officers throughout Wales will be clamping down on those who continue to ignore the law and endangering all road users. In North Wales we will be using both marked and unmarked vehicles as well as utilising Go Safe to enforce the law.
“One of the five major contributory factors in all fatal and serious injury collisions nationally, involve the misuse of mobile phones by drivers. There will be a zero tolerance towards drivers using handheld devices whilst driving and all the police forces in Wales will be increasing their targeting of this illegal and unacceptable behaviour during the campaign.”
Chair of Road Safety Wales, Sue Storch, added: “Road Safety Wales partners have been supporting our colleagues in the Police Service 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.”
Figures for North Wales Police area:
Mobile Phone Fixed Penalty Notices for 2010: 2,184
Mobile phone Fixed Penalty Notices for 2011 (January – August): 1,107
Anti-mobile phone driving campaign results
Thanks to proactive and efficient policing the 2011 All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone While Driving campaign ensured 1,000 motorists were targeted across the Country.
The campaign, involving road safety partners in Wales, aimed to raise awareness among motorists about the real dangers involved when drivers break the law through phoning or texting at the wheel.
For two weeks in September and October, officers from all Welsh Forces carried out proactive patrols to target motorists who endanger other road users through this behaviour, and educated drivers on the penalties they face if caught.
During the campaign, which was led by Dyfed Powys Police, officers detected a total of 1,000 mobile phone driving offences. In the Dyfed Powys force area, 429 notices were given, while in North Wales a total of 168 offenders were caught and apprehended.
Gareth Jones, Road Safety Manager, North Wales Police said:
Using a mobile whilst driving impairs your driving ability and puts you and others at risk. Wider responsibility for the issue is also encouraged by asking callers to hang up if you know they are driving.”
He added: “The key messages are:
- Kill the conversation if you know they are driving
- Switch off before you drive off
- Doing two things at once whilst driving can cause fatal distraction
- Don't text and drive
“While it’s saddening to see that so many motorists got caught using a mobile phone while driving it has also demonstrated the resolve of all the Road Safety Wales partners in tackling this issue and we will continue to work together to drive home the message that you need to switch off before you drive off.”
All Wales figures:
Total number of Females 25 years of age and under: 89
Total numbers Females 26 years of age and over: 143
Total number of Males 25 years of age and under: 181
Total numbers Males 26 years of age and over: 505
Age and gender unknown: 82?