THE METROPOLITAN POLICE are running a week of activity to raise awareness of the law against using a mobile phone while driving – combined with enforcement of that law.
The Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) is leading the work for the Metropolitan Police, and they are working in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). Police Chiefs across the UK are collaborating in this week of action.
“Driving while unlawfully on a mobile phone means you are not properly in control of your vehicle and can very easily be involved in a collision” is the message which the Met is putting across.
The law is there because there are real safety issues around using a phone while driving. That’s not just “using” in the sense of speaking on the phone or texting – the law prohibits you picking up your phone to check whether you have messages or even check the time.
Officers will be patrolling London in an unmarked HGV can, which allows them to spot drivers who are using their phones. The patrol vehicles will be fitted with cameras, so that the police can easily gather evidence of law-breaking.
It’s not just car drivers whom the police have their eye on. The law applies to all motorists – driving cars, lorries or vans, or motorbikes or push-bikes.
Steve Burton, Director of Compliance and Policing at Transport for London, said, “Using a handheld phone or other devices, such as tablets, while driving is both selfish and dangerous as it makes drivers four times more likely to be involved in a collision, which could have tragic consequences.
“As part of our Vision Zero approach to create a road network which is free from death or seriously injury, we’re working with the police to crack down on dangerous drivers who put themselves and other road users at risk, by enforcing offences such as using mobile phones, speeding or dangerous driving.”
•WHILE THE anti-phone week runs, the RTPC is also working on Operation Safeway – an initiative to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads. This will combine a crackdown on dangerous driving with education of all road users on safe practices.
Commander Neil Jerome from the Territorial Policing Command said, “The Met is working hard to reduce collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads.
“Throughout the week of action, traffic officers will be focussed on non-compliant motorists who unlawfully use hand-held mobile devices while driving, or commit other road violations which pose a very real danger to themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.
“This is about reminding all road users of the importance of keeping themselves and others safe when on London’s roads and that means concentrating on safe driving.”