Almost 100 motorists were caught using their mobile phone at the wheel during a police crackdown on distracted driving.
Motorway cops used an unmarked HGV cab to monitor the West Midlands network as part of a pre-planned operation – and even found one driver with their feet on the dashboard while using cruise control!
A total of 95 unsuspecting drivers were captured using their phone – an offence that now carries tougher new penalties of a £200 fine and six penalty points.
Officers also caught a further 54 motorists committing traffic offences with the majority for not being in proper control of a vehicle or not wearing a seatbelt.
Central Motorway Police Group co-ordinated the three-week operation with the support of Highways England on routes including the M6, M5 and M42 during June.
Superintendent Dean Hatton said: “It is disappointing that drivers are willing to put their own and others safety at risk by not fully concentrating on the road; being distracted by looking at your phone for a matter of seconds can have catastrophic and life-changing consequences.
“It is not only the tougher penalties which can see you lose your licence, but the ever-lasting guilt if you cause a fatal crash by not focussing on the road.”
The unmarked cab allowed officers to be at the same level as lorry drivers to spot those breaking the law; and look down on motorists in cars or other light vehicles.
An officer alongside the driver is able to spot offenders and record footage for evidence. Marked and unmarked vehicles were used alongside the cab to help pull over drivers and look for motoring offences.
Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie said: “The overwhelming majority of the public are fed-up with seeing people driving whilst using their phone. This tough action sends a strong message that the police will catch and prosecute drivers breaking the law.
“Studies have found that motorists who talk on their handheld phone while driving are four times more like to crash.Missing a call won’t kill you, an accident quite possibly could.”
Source:: West Midlands Police News