SYSRP tackling mobile phone use
Over the next two weeks, South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership is hoping to make people think twice about picking up their mobile phone while driving
SYSRP) is hoping to make people think twice about picking up their mobile phone while driving by using some familiar, as well as some more unusual scenarios.
Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP said: “Using a handheld mobile phone while driving or riding is both dangerous and illegal yet we continue to see people risking their life and the lives of others on a daily basis.
“These same people wouldn’t dream of answering their phone at a funeral or during a minute’s silence yet they would happily text or chat on their mobile while behind the wheel.
“We know that we live in a world where people are addicted to their phones and live their lives through social media but distractions while driving can be fatal.
“There’s a time and a place for a handheld mobile and driving is not one of them. There really is no excuse.”
The current law states that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving or riding for any form of ‘two-way’ or ‘interactive’ communication which includes making a call, using social media, texting or live streaming.
The law still applies when you are stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic and it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone when supervising a learner driver.
If you are caught, you could be given six penalty points and a £200 fine.
If you are found to be using a hand-held mobile phone and have passed your driving test in the last two years, you will automatically lose your licence.
“We all need to remember that driving or riding is difficult and distractions can be fatal, even if you only glance down for a split second,” added Joanne.
“Studies have shown that drivers who use hand-held mobile phones behind the wheel take longer to recognise and react to hazards, even at slower speeds.
“Taking your eyes off the road to read a text or make a phone call means that you could miss someone stepping off the pavement in front of you or the car ahead braking suddenly.
“When you get into your car, put your mobile phone out of reach, turn it onto silent and give the road your full attention.”
You may use a handheld mobile when you are safely parked, or if you need to call 999 in an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to stop.
Using hands-free devices such as a Bluetooth headset, built-in sat nav or voice-operated device is legal, however the police can stop you if they have reason to believe you are distracted, and you may still be prosecuted.
If you are using a dashboard holder or windscreen mount, it must not block your view of the road and traffic ahead.
For more information on the campaign please visit SYSRP here.