Police in West Yorkshire are backing a new crackdown on drivers who persist in using mobile phones.
They are using a hard-hitting film depicting a tragic end for four teenagers on a day out to warn people of the ‘‘absolute danger’’ of using a mobile phone while driving.
Officers are using the week-long campaign, which is being led by the National Police Chiefs Council, to raise awareness that mobile phone use while driving is one of the ‘fatal four’ - the name given to the four most common circumstances leading to death on the roads.
The group also includes speeding, not wearing a seat belt and drink/drug driving.
And they have revealed that many thousands of drivers still flout the law.
In the past three years, West Yorkshire officers have caught and taken action against 12, 217 drivers using phones at the wheel.
Insp Joanne Field, who leads West Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: ‘‘The law banning the use of mobile phones while driving has been in place for over a decade now but we are still seeing thousands of people each year flouting the law and endangering not only themselves but other road users as well.
‘‘The risks associated with using a phone while behind the wheel are very clear.
“Any driver will be distracted by a phone call or text message, It affects the ability to concentrate and anticipate the road ahead, putting the driver and other road users at risk”
Research has shown that driving while using a phone makes you four times more likely to be involved in a collision and studies by the Transport Research Laboratory suggest that using a hand-held mobile while driving can be more dangerous than drink-driving.
Extra police patrols are on the streets of Huddersfield and the rest of West Yorkshire to catch drivers.
If you are caught using a hand-held phone while driving, you will get three penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100.
Drivers are also been warned that they are still at risk of prosecution for failing to have proper control of their vehicle or for careless or reckless driving whilst using a hands-free phone whilst driving .
Insp Field added: ‘‘With so many people now using mobile devices such as sat-nav systems it’s important to remember that if your car is not safely parked and you are using a hand-held mobile you are breaking the law and your actions have the clear potential to endanger your life and those of other road users”.
The film can be seen as http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/allendintears