Banbury area traffic police warn of increased chances of serious injury at start of crackdown on use of mobile phones while driving - 'hands free is not a safe alternative'

Traffic patrol officers working in the Banbury area have warned about the dangers of using a mobile phone when driving at the start of a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 7th February 2022, 3:18 pm
Traffic police will be focusing on drivers using mobile phones during their new campaign
Traffic police will be focusing on drivers using mobile phones during their new campaign

The campaign, which began today (Monday), extends through Thames Valley Police with the Hampshire Constabulary Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit and runs until February 27.

Through research, it has been shown that using a mobile phone can impair your ability to drive more than if you were driving while over the drink drive limit.

It is one of the four factors, alongside drink and drug driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt, that can increase your chances of being seriously injured or even killed if involved in a road traffic collision.

Road Safety Sergeant David Hazlett, of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit said: “Driving whilst using a mobile device is dangerous and one of the four main contributory causes of fatal collisions.

“Whilst many vehicles now allow drivers to pair their phones and devices, people should not view ‘hands free’ as being a safe alternative.

“Research has shown that you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision and be less likely to notice and react to hazards in time by the distraction that mobile devices cause.

“This includes using ‘hands free’ as your attention is divided between driving and the conversation you will be having so can impact on the quality of your driving. Is it worth answering that call or can it wait?

“Texting, checking emails, scrolling through music and other device functions also distracts the driver and prevents their full attention which is needed for safe driving.

“It’s important to say that the vast majority of drivers don’t break the law but work still needs to be done to change the public’s minds and make mobile phone use in vehicles as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving.”