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New West Mercia Police campaign launched as toll of driver phone use revealed

By Mat Growcott | Crime | Published:

Four people have died and 15 have suffered serious injuries as a result of mobile phone use on roads in the West Mercia Police region, it has been revealed.

The figures, which cover the period since 2016, also show that there have been 54 cases where the use of a mobile phone has led to slight injuries.

West Mercia Police has released the information as part of a campaign running over the next few weeks.

The campaign will target motorists who still use their phone while on the road.

It's over two years since new legislation was introduced, increasing both the fine and licence points if caught using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel.

Motorists caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving face a £200 fine and six points on their licence. Drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban - which could also then lead to a £1,000 fine.

New drivers – those who have been on the road for less than two years – face having their licence revoked if caught just once.

Distracted

West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said: "Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm.

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"We are making use of the tougher penalties to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour – and we have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.

"It's concerning that we still have drivers who are willing to risk driving whilst distracted and it is a year round commitment for us to challenge this behaviour across West Mercia."

The campaign is being carried out as part of a partnership between West Mercia Police, the Safer Roads Partnership and National Fire Chiefs Council in support of the National Police Chiefs' Council.

The campaign will run from today until April 28.

West Mercia Police say drivers who use mobile phones are much less aware of what is happening around them, fail to see roadsigns and fail to maintain lane position and speed.

They are also more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic, react more slowly and take longer to brake.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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