Police mobile phone crackdown begins today
Feb 26, 2024

North Yorkshire Police began a two-week crackdown today on motorists using their mobile phones while driving.

Police will carry out patrols in marked and unmarked vehicles and deploy a specialist unmarked HGV on the county’s roads to target offenders.

Operation Contact, as it is known, is part of a national police initiative aimed at preventing drivers using handheld devices at the wheel. It runs until March 10.

A North Yorkshire Police statement today described distracted driving as one of the ‘fatal five’ main causes of serious and fatal collisions. The others are, careless driving, drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and excessive speed.

Drivers using handheld devices at the wheel are four times more likely to be in a crash.

Officers have the power to stop drivers if they believe that they are distracted and not in control of a vehicle. Those found guilty face a minimum fine of £200 and six points on their licence.

It is also illegal to use a handheld device at traffic lights, in queues, when supervising a learner driver, driving a vehicle that turns off the engine when you stop moving or holding and using a device that’s offline or in-flight mode when driving a vehicle.

Inspector Clive Turner from North Yorkshire Police’s roads policing group said:

“I’m sure that a majority of people will agree that driving when distracted is dangerous and completely unacceptable behaviour. Last year, we issued 697 traffic offence reports for people using a hand-held device when driving on North Yorkshire’s roads. I personally find it disappointing that this number of people will risk not only their own but other people’s safety.

“I would like to remind people that they can submit their own footage of people committing driving offences on the road network as part of Operation Snap, further details can be found on the North Yorkshire Police website.”

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