Research has found that using a mobile phone while driving makes you four times more likely to be involved in a collision and that the distraction impairs reaction times in a similar way to drink driving.

And while the majority of road users follow the law when it comes to handheld mobiles, South Yorkshire Police will be carrying out enforcement activity to tackle those flouting the rules.

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Those who drive and use their mobile phones are being targeted

Roads Policing Sergeant Matt Duffy said: “We are living in a world where we are addicted to our mobile phones.

If you find it hard to not use your mobile phone while driving, lock it away, store it in your handbag or glovebox out of reach and sight.

“If you are caught using your mobile phone you could be given six penalty points and a £200 fine.

“If you have passed your driving test in the last two years, you will automatically lose your licence.”

To support the work of traffic officers, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) will run a campaign educating drivers about the dangers and consequences of phone use while driving. Adverts will feature on radio, social media and digital Ivans.

The ads will draw a link between clapping for carers and using the same hands to text, swipe, call or even TikTok while driving.

Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP, said: “We cannot stress the importance of giving driving your full attention, especially at a time when our key workers are massively over stretched.

“If you clapped for carers, think about those same hands and what you do with t hem while driving. Keep your hands on the wheel, off your phone and the NHS orkers will thank you.

“If you’re travelling for essential reasons, please do not risk lives. Distractions can be deadly.”

The current law states that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving or riding for any form of ‘two-way’ or ‘interactive’ communication which includes making a call, using social media, texting or live streaming.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.



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