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Midlands police purge catches 100 drivers on the phone

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A university graduate checking emails and a mother running late to collect her child were among more than 100 drivers caught using their phone at the wheel by police in the Midlands.

Police branded many offenders with the acronym 'FOMOs' – Fear of Missing Out – for those found to be updating social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter while driving.

In a week-long crackdown by officers across the Midlands, a total of 117 drivers were spotted making calls, texting or accessing the internet from their mobile phones.

Others caught in the police purge include those using their mobile phone as a navigation device to get them to their destination.

Many of the drivers were handed three points and a £100 fine while others were offered the chance to avoid that punishment by attending a driver improvement course.

Both marked and unmarked police vehicles from the Central Motorway Police Group and West Midlands Police patrolled the region's motorways, including the M54 in Shropshire, as well as A-roads during the clampdown between May 23-29.

They were supported by traffic 'spotters' in plain clothes who waited at major road junctions to identify offenders, while a police HGV truck was also used to give officers a vantage point from which to catch truckers flouting the law.

Chief Inspector Kerry Blakeman, who heads up West Midlands Police Force Traffic, said: "One woman was caught calling her nursery to say she'd be late in the hope of avoiding a nominal additional charge, but she ended up with a £100 fine. One man admitted making a call despite hearing about the campaign on TV hours earlier."

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