Police in Suffolk will be targeting drivers who text and talk behind the wheel as part of a week-long enforcement campaign.
Operation Ringtone started yesterday, Monday 15 April, and will run until Sunday 21 April, coinciding with a nationwide campaign led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
Officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team and Road Casualty Reduction Team will be carrying-out extra patrols using both marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, all fitted with cameras to obtain evidence to help ensure successful prosecutions.
During the last campaign, which ran in September, officers issued 99 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) to drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, Head of the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Research shows you are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.
“If drivers are using their phones they are distracted from the job at hand, meaning they are less likely to be aware of potential hazards and have slower reaction times.
“Driving while using a mobile phone is one of the ‘fatal four’ offences which makes you more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision, along with drink driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.”
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I wholeheartedly support this Operation Ringtone campaign which will see a proactive week of increased enforcement across the county.
“Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives. It absolutely horrifies me when I see drivers on their phones and sadly, despite increased penalties, we see it all too often. I will look forward to seeing if this week’s campaign shows any obvious sign of improvement.
He added, “I know I have said it before, but the best way to improve safety on our roads is for every driver to remember the fatal four and put your phone out of reach, belt up, watch your speed and don’t drink or take drugs if you are going to drive, that really shouldn’t be so difficult.”