Suffolk drivers urged to put phones away when they get behind the wheel

BBC Radio Suffolk and the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star are launching a campaign to dete

BBC Radio Suffolk and the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star are launching a campaign to deter people from using their mobile phones behind the wheel. Mark Murphy at the BBC Radio Suffolk HQ. - Credit: Archant

We’re asking every driver in the county to make a simple but very important New Year’s resolution – one which could well save someone’s life.

We have joined forces with BBC Radio Suffolk to call for all motorists, van drivers and truckers to pledge to keep their hands off their mobile phone while driving.

Everyone knows it’s illegal –and very dangerous – to use a handheld phone while at the wheel, but far too many people still do it, risking their own life and the lives of other road users.

There have been a number of tragic accidents in which innocent people have been killed because a driver has been distracted by their mobile phone.

So, today the EADT, Ipswich Star and BBC Radio Suffolk is asking for all drivers to make a pledge to keep their hands off their mobiles while driving. You know it makes sense.

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Terry Hunt, Archant Suffolk editor-in-chief, said: “Using a mobile phone while driving is one of what the police call ‘the fatal four’ main causes of crashes in which people die or suffer serious injuries. The other three are drink-driving, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt.

“We are asking people to resist the temptation to check a message or take or make a call while they’re driving. The best way to remove that temptation is to make sure your phone is out of reach – maybe in the boot of your car.

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“Of course we know sometimes calls can be urgent, but I can’t think of any roads, minor or major, on which it’s not possible to pull off and stop within a few minutes. Then you can safely use your mobile. Nothing can be so urgent that it’s worth putting lives at risk.’’

Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk’s breakfast show presenter, said: “It’s so easy for any of us to be tempted to check our phones while we’re driving, or sitting in traffic,and I’m sure that we’ve all seen people doing it but we now know just how devastating the consequences can be.

“Pledging not to use your phone when you’re driving is a really simple New Year’s resolution to make, but it could save your life and the lives of others.’’

In recognition of the dangers of using a mobile while at the wheel, the government has announced that offenders will be fined £100 and have six penalty on their driving licence.

The campaign has the enthusiastic backing of Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore who said it was “A good way to start the year.”

He said: “I am 100% behind this campaign. It is a very good way to start the year. There is absolutely no excuse for this – you cannot even claim it is something that happens because you aren’t concentrating.

“And we’ve all seen how dangerous this can be. There have been some tragedies over the last few months caused by people using their phones while driving.

“It is totally unacceptable and I am delighted you and Radio Suffolk are highlighting the dangers in this campaign.”

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