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South Wales Police take part in All Wales campaign to target motorists who use mobile phones while driving

Launching for a period of two weeks, South Wales Police will be joining the other three Welsh forces in increased activity to target motorists who use mobile phones whilst driving.

Launching today for a period of two weeks, South Wales Police will be joining the other three Welsh forces in increased activity to target motorists who use mobile phones whilst driving.

Mobile phone use is one of the ‘fatal 5’ causes of death in road collisions along with speeding, alcohol, drugs and not wearing a seatbelt. Research shows that drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.

Roads policing officers will be taking part in increased patrols across the force area with particular focus on the use of mobile phones and will be educating drivers on the potential dangers that can be caused by the lack of concentration.

The dangers are not just posed by talking on a hand held device, but by interacting in any way with a mobile phone and this applies even when stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a collision.

Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police and NPCC All Wales lead on Roads Policing, Carl Langley said: “Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty”.

Persons observed by officers using their mobile phone whilst driving will be issued with a traffic offence report notice which will result in them receiving a fine and having their driving licence endorsed with penalty points. During the 2014 awareness campaign, 342 drivers were prosecuted for driving whilst using a mobile phone in the South Wales Police area.

Inspector Steve Davies, Roads Policing Unit, South Wales Police said: “Drivers often don’t realise the extent to which they can be distracted by using their mobile phone and the dangers this can cause to themselves, other road users and pedestrians. We are urging people to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ by emphasising that it is those split seconds checking a text or making a call that can have a devastating impact. The best thing to do is to turn your phone off whilst driving – nothing is that important that it’s worth the risk”.