POLICE have issued a stark warning to motorists after new figures revealed that more than 13,000 drivers have been caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel in six years.

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The statistics reveal that since 2007, 13,532 motorists have been fined after being caught on their phones while driving.

Of the motorists fined for the dangerous offence, 7,262 drivers opted to pay a £60 fine and take three points on their licence. A further 890 offenders failed to pay their fine within the 28-day period granted, resulting in them being fined £90.

In total, fines for using a mobile while driving amount to more than £500,000 over the six-year period. The data shows that in 2012 alone, 2,600 fines were issued for the offence – a 30% rise on the previous year.

Sergeant Paul Ward, of Suffolk police’s casualty reduction team, said his team were targeting motorists who use their phones while driving as part of an ongoing safety initiative.

“It is very concerning what people do behind the wheel,” he said. “We have caught people speaking on their phones and recently even caught a man typing a message on a palm-held device while driving.

“Reaction times go down by 50% when drivers are on their phones and that is dangerous.

“My message to people has to be that doing this is an awful offence because it is so dangerous. Not only are people putting their own lives at risk but they are also risking the lives of others.”

The statistics also show more than 5,000 motorists who did not pay their fines would have either of been summoned to court or opted to complete an awareness court.

Sgt Ward said using a mobile while driving was one of the “fatal four”, which also includes speeding, drink driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

13 comments

  • They should park up near Asda bury rd every morning they would catch loads either on the phone or sending texts i see it all the time

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    Robert Bulmer

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Weary Traveller ; the only way you are not going to get distracted whilst driving, is to remove all car radioscd players and not to have any passengers in the car who might talk to you( or even sneeze). The reasoning behind banning" hand held" mobiles was to get drivers to have full control of their vehicles - we have all seen people trying to turn corners -steer round on roundabouts - changing gear "Look no hands" style.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • ONE OF THE REASONS I BOUGHT THE FORD TITANIUM ,ITS FITTED WITH BLUE TOOTH PHONE CONNECTION ,. THIS SHOULD BE STANDARD SAFETY FITTING NOW ON ALL CARS ..THESE IDIOTS WHO PERSIST IN USING MOBILE PHONES WHILE DRIVING ,, CONFISCATE THE VEHICLE , AND STILL GIVE THE FINE ,, ITS THE ONLY WAY NUMB-SKULLS LEARN

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    MIGUEL100

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Then take the radio out of your car to stop you signing to songs or getting mad at the news. Stop selling cigarettes in shops so people don't smoke them while driving. Remove advertisement boards from the sides of roads so people don't look at them. Get rid of drive through takeaways so people aren't tempted to eat the burger without parking first. There is always going to be distractions but some don't cause you to take your eyes off the road like texting does or dialling a number does. Mobile phone use is just one of many problems that cause accidents on our roads. So if you can't comply with the RULES, DO NOT DRIVE! The rules are so so so SIMPLE, don't drink and drive, don't eat and drive, don't smoke drive, don't speed while driving, don't use a hand held phone and drive, don't read a map and drive, don't do your make up and drive. The list goes on but if you are too THICK to comply, then simply do not drive, it's not rocket science.

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    Kevin Smith

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Good! The more who are prosecuted, and tell their friends and colleagues, the better. Perhaps people will then think twice before doing it and instead concentrate on their driving.

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    On Two Wheels

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Of course doing anything distracting whilst driving is dangerous and should be actively discouraged. So can someone please enlighten me why using a bluetooth or earpiece is allowed? Surely you can still be distracted and your thinking is on the call not driving. The only difference you are not holding a handset. Distraction is the enemy, so STOP all mobile calls by whatever means!

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    Weary Traveller

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • ONE OF THE REASONS I BOUGHT THE FORD TITANIUM ,ITS FITTED WITH BLUE TOOTH PHONE CONNECTION ,. THIS SHOULD BE STANDARD SAFETY FITTING NOW ON ALL CARS ..THESE IDIOTS WHO PERSIST IN USING MOBILE PHONES WHILE DRIVING ,, CONFISCATE THE VEHICLE , AND STILL GIVE THE FINE ,, ITS THE ONLY WAY NUMB-SKULLS LEARN

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    MIGUEL100

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • A £60 fine is ridiculus - a phone can cost about £300! The fine should be at least a weeks wages. That is around £70 for someone on benefits or £100,000 if your Wayne Rooney.

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    Colin58

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I agree entirely with Weary Traveller. You cannot drive safely with the distraction of mobile calls and texting. The same goes for loud music in the vehicle. It is stupid, selfish and a complete disregard for not only your own life,but the lives of other road users.

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    Sirius

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I totally agree with Kevin Smith. If you don't want one of those ear pieces, buy a bluetooth set that clips to the sun visor, they start around £30. Still half the price of a fixed penalty ticket and points. I recently had a bluetooth device fitted to my car that cuts in through the car speakers at a cost of £100 fitted. Worth every penny.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • There is no excuse for it useless you are extremely THICK. A blue tooth ear piece can be bought for £15, the fine for holding your phone is 4 times that. Plus 3 points which puts your insurance up making the cost of not spending £15 at lot more. So do the maths and if you can't, you must stop driving because you are too THICK.

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    Kevin Smith

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Got to love the way they aggregate SIX years' worth of tickets to get a good headline figure. It's rather less impressive when you do the maths and work out that it amounts to fewer than SIX motorists each day spotted by the whole of Suffolk Constabulary's patrolling plods. Pretty pathetic when I generally spot more than that in a five or six hour ride on my bike.

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    beerlover

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Of course doing anything distracting whilst driving is dangerous and should be actively discouraged. So can someone please enlighten me why using a bluetooth or earpiece is allowed? Surely you can still be distracted and your thinking is on the call not driving. The only difference you are not holding a handset. Distraction is the enemy, so STOP all mobile calls by whatever means!

    Report this comment

    Weary Traveller

    Monday, February 4, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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