Published: October 10, 2013
Police launch operation today to target drivers using mobile phones

Drivers using hand held mobile phones in the Burnham-On-Sea area will be targeted by police in a special day of action today (Thursday).

Patrols will be out and about across Somerset to catch offenders and highlight the dangers associated with the use of hand held mobile devices while driving.

The crackdown has been organised by Avon and Somerset Police and Somerset County Council’s Road Safety Team.

It comes after a new study shows motorists are four times more likely to crash when using a mobile phone since reaction times are around 50% slower than normal.

It has been illegal to use a hand held phone while at the wheel since 2007 but many drivers continue to break the law.

Terry Beale, Somerset's Road Safety Manager, told "We all see people every day using their phone while driving. But it is extremely dangerous and can lead to tragic consequences."

"Either let the call go to answer phone or better still switch your phone off completely when driving, even hands free use can lead to a lack of concentration. There is nothing so urgent that can justify taking away a person’s life."

Chief Inspector Yan Georgiou of Avon and Somerset Police added: "We have joined forces with Somerset County Council’s Road Safety Team for this day of action to help raise awareness of the dangers and penalties of using a phone while driving."

"Ordinarily, if you are speaking on a phone while driving you could receive a £100 fine and three points on your licence if the offence is dealt with through a fixed penalty ticket. If the case goes to Court, the penalty can be a fine of up to £1,000 and can include a driving ban."

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