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Warning to Shropshire drivers as tougher penalties for using mobile phones come in

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Shropshire motorists caught using mobile phones at the wheel will be targeted during a new police crackdown launched to coincide with the introduction of stricter penalties from today.

Under the new rules, drivers can receive road bans if they tot up 12 points within three years, while new drivers can have their licence revoked if they get six points within two years of passing their test.

Superintendent Daryn Elton, of West Mercia and Warwickshire Police, said: "Improving the safety of our roads is a year round commitment for our officers.

"Although mobile phone enforcement is already part of our daily operational activity we will be stepping up our efforts over this week to crack down on motorists who are blatantly ignoring both the law and the dangers involved in order to raise awareness of the change in legislation.

"Many motorists are already aware that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media and applies even if you've stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

"With smartphones becoming more and more embedded into our daily routines we are all aware of how useful they can be. However, it is unacceptable to allow yourself to be distracted by them while driving and officers will ensure any motorists doing so face the penalties involved."

"We are urging people to think about the consequences of their actions and ask themselves how they would feel if they caused a collision and injured or killed somebody else simply for the sake of making a call, reading a text message or checking social media."

Drivers’ top reasons for using a phone

1. I'm short of time or running late – 17%

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2. I get bored in traffic jams – 15%

3. My car doesn't have hands-free connectivity – 14%

4. I need to check notifications as soon as I receive them – 13%

5. I've never been caught – 10%

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6. It doesn't hurt anybody – 9%

7. There aren't any police or cameras where I drive – 9%

8. I don't want to wear earphones when driving – 5%

And these are the tasks most often carried by drivers:

1. Making or receiving calls – 73%

2. Searching for a destination – 28%

3. Texting or using instant messaging – 23%

4. Checking or writing emails – 12%

5. Using social media – 10%

6. Using a search engine – 10%

7. Reading the news – 8%

8. Taking a selfie – 7%

Source: Co-op poll of 1,500 drivers

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