VIDEO SOME MAY FIND DISTRESSING: Thames Valley Police target drivers in week-long crackdown as harrowing footage released

Thames Valley Police has released a distressing video as it targets motorists using mobile phones in a week-long crackdown.

In the video, which contains some distressing images, families talk of the devastation caused by drivers on mobile phones, as police launch week of action against driver distraction.

Thames Valley Police has launched a week of activity - which started yesterday (Monday) and runs until Sunday (January 28th) - specifically targeting drivers using hand-held mobile phones, with the aim of drawing attention to the risks posed by being distracted while in control of a vehicle.

Ion Calin and his friend and work colleague, Marian Olteanu were killed instantly when a lorry ploughed into their stationary car on the M271 in December 2015. The lorry driver was distracted, using his mobile phone.

Thames Valley Police

Their families’ lives have been devastated by the impact of this lorry driver’s irresponsible and dangerous act. They have bravely shared their story to help raise awareness of the lethal consequence of driving whilst using a mobile phone, with the plea for those that continue to text, surf the web, use apps and more, behind the wheel to stop.

In March 2017 the law changed that meant drivers now receive six points on their driving licence and receive a £200 fine. These changes will have a significant impact on young new drivers as they risk having their licence revoked on first offence.

Road Safety Sergeant Chris Appleby, from the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit for Thames Valley and Hampshire forces, said police are still seeing too many people deciding to take the risk of using their mobile phone while driving.

“Whether looking at a text, making and receiving calls or even surfing the internet, doing any of these will clearly impair and distract your ability to drive a vehicle safely,” he said.

It's not worth the risk

“Research has shown that talking on a mobile phone can impair your ability to drive more than if you were driving whilst over the drink drive limit. You are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision texting as drink driving. You are much less aware of what’s happening around you and fail to see road signs, maintain a proper lane position or a steady speed. Drivers end up feeling more stressed and frustrated and are more likely to ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front or enter unsafe gaps in traffic.”

Drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a collision while using a mobile phone or being distracted in a vehicle and your reactions are 50% slower.

Chris adds: “I am urging all motorists to not take that risk, a moments inattention can be the difference between life and death. We have all seen the devastation caused by those who take the risks. Please think twice before answering a call, looking at a text or browsing your phone, let’s have no more innocent people lose their life.

“My advice is to turn your phone off whilst driving, put it out of reach, and out of view. This way you won’t be tempted to look at it and become distracted. It’s not worth the risk.”

Thames Valley Police

The Facts

- You’re four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving

- You are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision texting as you are drink driving

- Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50% slower than normal driving

It's not worth the risk

-Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash


- It’s illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices.

- The rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

- It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.