Stiffer penalties for mobile usage is called for after nearly 200 people Caught in a Week

stiffer penalties for mobile usage is called for after nearly 200 people caught in a week

Almost 200 motorists were caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel during a week-long crackdown by officers across Hampshire.

A total of 190 drivers were stopped by Roads Policing Officers from the Joint Operations Unit at the end of last month as part of a nationwide initiative to make our roads safer.

This is a disappointing 36 per cent increase compared to this time last year when 141 motorists were caught using their phones while driving.

One driver in Aldershot was even stopped while on his way to a mobile phone referral course having been stopped already once before.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard said: “These results are disappointing as it shows too many people still do not understand the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

“The majority of people know they should not be using their phone whilst driving, but appear not to understand what a huge distraction it is.

“This just shows the reason why we need to run such campaigns and remind people of the dangers and prosecute those who feel it is still acceptable to take that risk.

“My advice is to turn your phone off whilst driving, put it out of reach and view, this way you will not be tempted to look at it and become distracted. It’s not worth the risk.

“Distraction can be a major contribution in collisions and by using your phone you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision as your reaction times can be around 50 per cent slower.”

Of those stopped 83 per cent were male, 81 per cent were over the age of 25, 70 per cent were car drivers and 25 per cent were van drivers.

A total of 84 per cent were offered a referral course.