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Police blitz catches Welsh drivers on mobile phones

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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ALMOST 1,000 Welsh motorists have been caught using their mobile phones in just two weeks.

The police crackdown saw officers from the four forces in Wales targeting people who text or make calls on the road.

Police in South Wales issued 242 on-the-spot fines during the fortnight-long operation, while Dyfed-Powys stopped and fined 454 law breakers.

Police have called the results of the mobile blitz unacceptable — and have said that motorists need to realise that when they choose to use the phone they are choosing to put people's lives at risk.

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Wayne Tucker, road safety manager at South Wales Police, said: "It is unacceptable that more than 240 drivers have chosen to ignore the message that driving while using a mobile phone is dangerous and potentially life- threatening.

"We're urging the public to recognise that answering that quick call at the wheel or texting at the traffic lights is just not worth the risk.

"If you choose to use your phone at the wheel, you're choosing to endanger the lives of others as well as yourself.

"Driving while using your mobile phone affects your ability to concentrate and react to your surroundings in the same way that drink-driving does. That momentary lapse in concentration is all it takes to cause a serious or fatal collision, and there's no excuse for it."

The figures show that the majority of drivers booked for flouting the law were aged over 25, and Mr Tucker called on them to set a good example to young motorists, saying "more experienced roadusers should really know better".

Getting caught texting or calling while behind the wheel — or riding a motorbike — leads to an automatic £60 fine and a three point penalty on the driving licence

Dyfed-Powys Police Superintendent Huw Rees said driving while using a mobile phone was not only illegal but also dangerous.

He urged motorists to turn off their phones and warned that the force would prosecute those drivers who continue to flout the law.

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  • maxmin  |  November 27 2012, 3:21PM

    Lisette I quite agree with you. Every Friday there is a coach from Poland stopping at Llanelli Station and the times I have been waiting to meet my wife and see the driver threading his way in through all the parked cars while chatting away on his mobile makes you think. However when I reported it to the police they asked me the name of the driver, which company did he work for, and the phone number in Poland of the company! However is there anything you have described that could not have been dealt with under the existing laws on driving without due care and attention? The problem is when you bring in new laws like this the police only use them for the 'easy collar' and not for any real purpose to do with road safety.

  • lissette  |  November 27 2012, 2:41PM

    i am not normally a moaner, but this really does rile me up. I wish I have a blue light on my car. The amount of times I see users. Twice on the kittle road towards the chicken farm I have had to swerve to get out of the way of someone on the phone. I am lucky as I think quick. And if anyone has noticed when you are driving behind someone who is texting, this is one for police to look for...they drive erratically all over the road slowly when texting then speed up because they have sent message, then they slow down to read a return message, while checking their mirror as well making sure I am not the police, I expect. They drive back to the beginning again..This is just not aimed at youngsters either I have actually seen older people doing this..

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  • maxmin  |  November 21 2012, 10:00AM

    Walesforever, Yes Mr Blairs nightmare is here already.

  • godisalie  |  November 21 2012, 1:09AM

    I see the mouth is opening even wider.

    |   -1
  • Walesforever  |  November 20 2012, 11:26PM

    1984 !

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  • odinhouse  |  November 20 2012, 1:39PM

    £60 fine and a three point penalty on the driving licence..... Well there should be Road cameras on the roads/ streets and catch them that way, and send the fine via their home with a photo attached. i see Loads of people on their phones' Driving , most of them are Women, Fine them £100 and 6 points that will stop them then , Buy a Hands Free Device , how can you drive with one hand and concentrate at the same time.....?

  • maxmin  |  November 20 2012, 10:37AM

    So what you are saying muffinman is that you would be quite happy for the person in the case I outlined to be more heavily punished for a crime he did not commit? It is quite clear to me that the Government will not take any action that would be a real life saver, but instead concentrate on those petty offences that bring in plenty of cash. If you want to make using a mobile phone an offence then do it, but stop prosecuting people for merely touching it. It should be easy to prove by accessing phone records. Let us move towards a situation where every road user is expected to use the road correctly, not just drivers. Let us stop pedestrians wandering into traffic any time they feel like and insist cyclists obey the law. Until you do that then people will continue to be needlessly killed and injured on the roads.

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  • siarad2  |  November 19 2012, 10:13PM

    When I was working in the USA it was an offence to cross a road anywhere but at intersections. A friend, at about 3AM, crossed against the 'red man' & was locked up all night & I went to buy him out in the morning, I wasn't going to get out of bed for him & trudge though heavy snow. They were very hot on jaywalking.

    |   -3
  • HaroldMonk  |  November 19 2012, 10:05PM

    The amount of people I see on their phones is staggering. Maybe the police need to be more consistent than just piling officers on the roads for one off periods.

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  • flepwales  |  November 19 2012, 9:09PM

    If the government are so concerned about road safety where are all those Public information adverts witht the "Green Cross Code", and the roads are dangerous so don`t play on them etc. Why do they use speed cameras (they only cut speeds for 100yds) instead of police who can catch drink/dangerous drivers etc, its because they generate more money, you can pay extra now not to have the points, why dont they charge everyone an annual fee so that if you get caught you only pay half as much.