We are supporting a National Police Chiefs Council’s (NPCC) campaign that highlights the dangers of using your mobile phone whilst driving. As we are currently in a national lockdown only essential journeys should be made but it is important that those using the roads are doing so safely.
We want you to be #phonefree whilst driving by either putting your phone away in the glove box, turning it off or using settings or an app that blocks calls and messages.
Being distracted by your phone while driving makes you four times more likely to crash. In the last five years (2016-2020) Staffordshire Police have recorded 4,663 offences of driving whilst using a mobile phone, that’s an average of 78 per month. If you’re caught using your phones at the wheel you’ll receive six points and a £200 fine, and new drivers (within the first two years of holding a full licence) will have their licence removed by the courts.
Using a mobile phone at the wheel in any way puts you and others at much higher risk as it only takes a second of lapsed concentration to prevent you from reacting to a hazard. Once a driver has been distracted it only takes three seconds for a car crash to occur.
It doesn’t have to be a phone call to be distracting, you shouldn’t text, look at social media notifications and skip songs on your phone while at the wheel. Any kind of phone use can be distracting, if it takes your eyes from the road you shouldn’t be doing it. In fact texting whilst driving causes 25 per cent of all car accidents (Department of Transport). You can also be just as preoccupied using a hands free system so the safest thing is to not use your phone at all.
We want to change the behaviours of drivers by emphasising that safety is more important than taking a call or replying to a text. Your friends and family won’t mind waiting for the text, call or message. They would rather that you got to your destination safely than not at all. If you need to make a call or text someone you need make sure you park up somewhere safely and turn the ignition off. We are also urging people not to phone friends and family that they know are driving and if you call someone and they are driving, tell them to call you back when they are at their destination.
The message is simple. Help us make Staffordshire’s roads safer by going #PhoneFree. Lose the phone not your control!