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Crackdown on drivers using phones in Suffolk as crime commissioner 'horrified' by rule-breakers

PUBLISHED: 09:34 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 17 April 2019

Suffolk Constabulary joins forces nationwide in a crackdown on drivers using mobile phones as part of Operation Ringtone Picture: DENNIS OBLANDER

Suffolk Constabulary joins forces nationwide in a crackdown on drivers using mobile phones as part of Operation Ringtone Picture: DENNIS OBLANDER

Archant

Police are ramping up efforts to catch drivers using mobiles, with the Suffolk crime commissioner “horrified” to see motorists putting lives at risk.

PCC Tim Passmore has fully voiced his support for Operation Ringtone - a nationwide crackdown on drivers flouting laws stopping them using mobile drvices while driving.

Police in Suffolk will be targeting drivers who text and talk behind the wheel as part of a two-week-long enforcement campaign from April 15 until April 28, coinciding with a nationwide campaign led by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).

Mr Passmore said: “I wholeheartedly support this Operation Ringtone campaign which will see a proactive two weeks 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.”

Officers from the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team (NSRAPT) and Road Casualty Reduction Team will be carrying out extra patrols using marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, all fitted with cameras to catch dangerous drivers in the act.

The same campaign in September 2018 saw officers issue 99 traffic offence reports (TORs) to drivers using a mobile phone while driving.

Chief inspector Kris Barnard, head of the NSRAPT 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.”

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