More than 116 tickets issued in mobile phone campaign

More than 116 people were caught driving while using a mobile phone during an enforcement campaign in Suffolk earlier in the month.
Police carried out patrols in marked and unmarked cars and bikes in a bid to target drivers using their mobile behind the wheel as part of Operation Ringtone.
The week-long campaign between 1 and 7 March coincided with changes in legislation which doubled the penalties for drivers caught using a mobile behind the wheel.
Under the new law, which came into effect on 1 March, offenders will be given a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.
Roads policing officers issued 116 tickets in Suffolk.
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; alongside speeding, drink driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
The new changes will have a significant impact on young motorist offenders; anyone who receives six points in the first two years of passing their test, you will lose their licence.
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore said, “I really hope that the new penalties that drivers face for using their mobile phone will finally make those who continue to fault the law take note. I find it particularly shocking that drivers who rely on their licence for their livelihood have been caught during this campaign – surely no call is worth losing your job for.
“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 we see it all too often. I hope the increased penalties will be the catalyst for change.”Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Roads Policing & Firearms Operations Unit, said: “These new penalties will have a significant impact on young motorists as well as those drivers who already have points on their licence.
“My hope is that these new penalties act as a wake-up call to drivers, especially professional drivers who rely on their licence to make a living.
“A number of professionals – driving instructors and delivery drivers – were stopped during this campaign and that phone call or text could seriously cost them.
“No text or call is that important it’s worth risking your licence for, or worst still causing injury or death.”
Police in Suffolk work closely with partner agencies, including the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership, to educate drivers and improve safety. A lot of work is focused on the fatal four motoring offences of drink driving, speeding, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.