Police will use long range cameras and roadside stops to catch Stroud drivers using mobile phones while behind the wheel next week.

From February 15 to 21, Gloucestershire police officers will carry out ‘proactive operations’ throughout the county as part of their ‘No Mobile at the Wheel’ campaign.

The decision comes after 35% of drivers under the age of 25 admitted to checking texts, emails or social media accounts, according to Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents survey.

“Our presence and activity will clearly demonstrate our commitment to keeping people safe from harm on the county’s roads – that goes to the very heart of the Constabulary’s mission,” said Superintendent Paul Keasey.

“I recognise that mobile phones are an important part of everyone’s lives and provide an important medium for people to stay in touch, especially during these exceptional times.

“However, it is vitally important that motorists use them safely and are not distracted by them whilst driving.”

Drivers using a phone are four times more likely to be involved in a collision and are far less likely to notice and react to hazards.

Only 15% of drivers follow Government advice on putting phones in the glove compartment of their vehicle to stop distractions, according to Gloucestershire Police.

In a statement, the police said the campaign will also target commercial drivers, who accounted for 23 per cent of drivers caught using a mobile phone at the wheel over the last five years.

This comes after news Avon and Somerset Police fined a lorry driver for using two mobile phones at the same time.

“Many companies are very responsible about ensuring their drivers do not use their phones whilst driving so this campaign is about reminding both drivers and their employers of the importance of this,” said Nigel Lloyd-Jones, who is in charge of the Safe and Social Roads initiative for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“We appreciate the support of businesses in highlighting this issue to their drivers, or their employees driving for work, in their health and safety policies and operational practices.”

To find out more about the penalties of using your phone whilst driving click here.

Anyone who has concerns over someone who may be using their mobile phone whilst driving can report this to police by completing this form or calling 999 if the incident is ongoing.

Alternatively you can anonymously submit information by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For employers’ information and toolkit click here.



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