POLICE in Redditch and Bromsgrove have joined a nationwide crackdown on drivers who use their handheld mobile phone at the wheel.
They say distraction behind the wheel is a huge contributory factor in car crashes and this campaign demonstrates a commitment by police forces across the UK to tackle the issue of mobile phone use.
A woman from Redditch is currently waiting to be sentenced after being involved in a fatal crash while using her mobile phone.
It’s over two years since new legislation was introduced increasing both the fine and licence points if caught using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.
Motorists caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving face a £200 fine and six points on their licence.
Drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban – which could also then lead to a £1,000 fine.
New drivers – those who have passed within the last two years – face having their licence revoked if caught just once.
Since 2016 there have been four fatalities, 15 serious injuries and 54 slight injuries in West Mercia where use of a mobile phone was recorded as a causation factor.
West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm.
“We are making use of the tougher penalties to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour – and we have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.
“It’s concerning that we still have drivers who are willing to risk driving whilst distracted and it is a year round commitment for us to challenge this behaviour across West Mercia.”