Police to get tough with mobile users

ESSEX Police is to send out officers in unmarked cars with the specific job of targeting motorists who use handheld mobile phones while driving.The move comes at the end of a two month "grace" period which followed legislation outlawing the holding of mobiles while on the move.

ESSEX Police is to send out officers in unmarked cars with the specific job of targeting motorists who use handheld mobile phones while driving.

The move comes at the end of a two month "grace" period which followed legislation outlawing the holding of mobiles while on the move.

Road policing officers will be despatching unmarked vehicles on specific days throughout February in their effort to clamp down on those still breaking the new law.

A police spokesman said: "Police will be cracking down hard on this growing menace to road safety following the two-month holiday period since the new legislation was introduced, during which people have had the opportunity to obtain hands-free equipment."


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Insp Mark Harman said: "One of our first priorities when attending crashes is to recover any mobile from inside the vehicles.

"We realise how dangerous it is to drive and use a hand-held mobile phone.

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"It clearly distracts any driver from properly being in control of their vehicle and so poses a threat to the lives of others using the road.

"We will be sending out unmarked police cars throughout the Braintree division and on the M11 in a bid to educate drivers and voice our concerns.

"We will be zero-tolerant so hang up or pay up."

Mr Harman said that several dates throughout the four-week period had been identified and road policing officers would be "educating" drivers to the mobile phone dangers that exist when using a hand-held phone.

Motorists face a £30 non-endorsable fixed penalty ticket for failing to be in proper control of their vehicle.

Essex Police remains the only force in the country to successfully prosecute a motorist for causing death by dangerous driving after a lorry driver was found guilty of text-messaging when he struck and killed a man on the A13 at Pitsea in June 2000.

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