MOTORISTS who use their mobile phones while driving across the region’s roads and motorways are to be targeted in a tough safety crackdown by traffic officers.
The enforcement, part of a national operation, will run between 24-30 September in an effort to improve safety and on the roads.
During the operation police will use both marked and unmarked vehicles to catch motorists illegally using their mobiles to make calls or text or browse the internet while they are driving.
Officers will also patrol in a HGV tractor unit looking for drivers of heavy goods vehicles flouting the law.
Drivers caught will be offered the opportunity to attend an educational course as an alternative to prosecution.
The week-long crackdown, part of a National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) initiative, will involve officers across the West Midlands, West Mercia and Staffordshire police areas.
Inspector Sion Hathaway from the Central Motorway Patrol Group (CMPG) said: “It’s been over ten years since it became illegal to use a phone whilst driving, but the number of people being killed or injured as a result of this activity continues to increase.
“In fact, government figures suggest mobile phone use will be the biggest killer on our roads this year, so it’s about time the message started to get through and it’s a simple one- don’t do it.
“By using your mobile behind the wheel you’re putting yourself and other road users in real danger and ultimately, you could be responsible for causing the death of another person. If you’re tempted to use your phone while driving, consider if what you’re doing is worth putting someone’s life at risk and ask yourself how you would feel if it was a member of your family that was injured or killed as a result of your actions.”
Studies have found driver reaction times when using a mobile phone are 30% slower than someone who is just above the drink drive limit and 50% slower than under normal driving conditions.
Research also indicates that drivers using mobile phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash involving damage to property or serious injury.