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Motorists reminded of increased penalties for phone use while driving

Police in Northamptonshire are supporting a nationwide enforcement campaign to clamp down on the use of mobile phones while driving.

The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) campaign is taking place this week (10-16 July) to highlight the dangers of using a phone while driving and remind drivers of the tougher penalties which came into place in March this year.

Offenders now receive a £200 fine and six points, which for a new driver can mean the automatic loss of their licence. It has been illegal to use a mobile phone, held in the hand, whilst driving since 2003.

Sara Postlethwaite of the Safer Roads Team said: “From calls to texts, streaming, social media and apps, mobile phones are hugely distracting, and taking your eyes and attention off the road for even a second can have fatal consequences.

“We want to remind drivers to keep their phone out of reach in the car and on silent to avoid temptation.

“There is no excuse for using a phone in any way while driving and the severity of this offence is now rightfully reflected in the penalties.”

The legislative changes were marked with a similar campaign which saw 5175 mobile phone offences detected across England and Wales.

As part of the campaign, motorists are also reminded that mobile speed enforcement vans also capture mobile phone offences, alongside other motoring offences such as failing to wear a seatbelt.

Ms Postlethwaite added: “We also want to highlight that hands-free conversations are a distraction for drivers too. We encourage people to concentrate fully on driving, taking care to look properly for vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.”

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