Driving instructor among those hit with heavier fines for using phones behind the wheel

on March 17, 2017

More than 250 motorists in the West Midlands – including a driving instructor – have been hit with increased fines for using mobile phones behind the wheel.

The tougher penalties mean those caught will receive six points and have to pay £200.

The changes came into force on 1st March and saw 261 drivers caught in the West Midlands in the first week alone.

Among those spotted by police were a driving instructor, as well as a man accessing his mobile banking while on the M5. Thirty truck drivers have also been caught using their phones behind the wheel.

Inspector Sion Hathaway, from the Central Motorway Police Group, said: “It’s disappointing that despite all the publicity around tougher new punishments, and the dangers of distracted driving, many people are still putting their lives at risk.

“It’s shocking so many HGV drivers were among those we caught – these are professional drivers, ones that should be setting high standards.

“We used our unmarked police HGV cab during the operation which enabled us to look right into truckers’ cabs and catch any trying to discretely use mobile devices. They’ve been reported to the regional Traffic Commissioner, and could now face suspension.”

Around half of the distracted drivers were caught on the M5 and M6 with the others pulled over on urban roads in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson added: “This is about saving lives.

“Studies have found that motorists who talk on their handheld phone while driving are four times more likely to crash.

“But I want it to go further. I’d like to see local groups benefit from the higher fines. It is only right that the fines from reckless drivers help pay to keep our roads safe.”

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