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Warning to Drivers Who Use Mobiles at the Wheel in East Riding


12:25pm 21st May 2013

A number of people were stopped by Roads Policing officers in the East Riding between Monday 13th May to Saturday 18th May as part of a campaign aimed at raising awareness of mobile phone misuse by drivers on the regions roads.

In total 34 people were stopped in the East Riding as officers spotted them using their mobile phones whilst driving and as a result a number of other offences were also detected.

Casualty Reduction Officer for the East Riding, Simon Carlisle, said: "The police, when attending injury road traffic collisions collect information which is forwarded to the Home Office to form statistics about the causes of injury road traffic collisions. Nowhere in these causation statistics does it ask if a mobile phone was suspected to be used. Therefore it is not recorded, showing that few collisions have mobile phone use as a contributory factor. These are more likely to be shown as a ‘lack of attention’ or ‘lapse in concentration’.

"However when I have looked at the individual collisions and spoken to the attending officers it has been the case that there are a large number of collisions contributable to mobile phone use. This is not necessarily persons using the phone to call someone, but texting, use of the internet and social media. All these seem to involve the driver looking down at their phone and becoming engrossed.

"I suspect some people will know that this will not apply to them, or that they use a hands free kit. However let’s think about a phone call from a family member about a leaking washing machine, what will you be thinking about? Well you will be thinking primarily about the mess and will actually be picturing the scene of the leaking washing machine in your mind. Nobody can say that this will not distract you from driving.

"Then there are the worst case scenarios. Only in December last year at York Crown Court a young female was imprisoned for nearly four years for using a mobile phone whilst driving to ‘tweet’ her friend. She had strayed onto the wrong side of the road, near to Lelley in Holderness, without realising and collided head on with an oncoming car. The resultant collision killing a rear seat passenger.

"The majority of drivers reading this will see on a daily basis other drivers looking down at their mobile phone, with only a passing interest at what is happening in front of them. My advice is put the phone out of the way, in your pocket. When you hear it then you can pull over in a safe place to deal with it. Don’t risk your licence, your life, or your conscience."

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