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Enforcement of mobile phone laws falls sharply

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The number of motorists who are being caught using a mobile phone while driving has fallen by half in the space of the last five years.

In 2011-12, a total of 178,000 people were pulled over by police. Last year, by comparison, just 95,000 were caught breaking the law.

Given the fact that smart phones have grown in popularity and the mounting evidence that previous road safety campaigns have failed to cut through, the fall in the number of people actually being confronted has been attributed to a reduction in road traffic officers.

In a report last week, the BBC revealed that it had approached police forces around the UK with Freedom of Information requests to chart the decline in different regions of the country.

Kent Police had seen the most dramatic drop in the number of drivers being caught– around 84 per cent over the five year period.

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, from the National Police Chief’s Council, said: “This problem cannot be solved by enforcement alone – we need to build awareness and make it socially unacceptable to use a mobile phone while driving.”

Alice Bailey, from the road safety Brake, said: “We carried out our own research and found anything between 15 and 50 per cent of people, depending on their age range, admit to using their phone behind the wheel. It shows the message hasn’t got through.”

The latest statistics come hard on the heels of the Government’s announcement that it would introduce tougher penalties for those convicted of texting or making a call while driving. Both the number of points added to a licence and the fines issued for the offence will double under the new legislation.

If you are charged with a road traffic offence, it is important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure the best possible representation. For further details about how Lester Morrill’s road traffic team can help you, please contact us.

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