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Mobile phone prosecutions in sharp decline

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The RAC has raised concerns that the number of court cases being brought against drivers using mobile phones at the wheel has halved in the space of five years.

Figures compiled by the breakdown firm revealed that the number of prosecutions fell by 47 per cent from 2009 to 2014.

This is despite the fact that all research by the Department for Transport suggests that motorists are more likely to use phones than ever before.

Pete Williams, the RAC’s head of external affairs, fears that reductions in policing budgets are making it harder for forces to tackle those who are breaking the law.

“There is still an enormous gulf between what the law states – that handheld mobile phones should not be used behind the wheel – and what motorists see happening on our roads,” he said.

“Drivers are routinely using their phones at red traffic lights, or even while on the move.

“We have already highlighted the large reductions in the numbers of full-time roads policing officers affecting many police forces.

“On average across the country there was a 23 per cent cut between 2010 and 2014 – meaning there are 1,279 fewer officers patrolling our roads. Sadly, therefore, there are now far fewer police to enforce a law that is designed to protect all road users and pedestrians.”

It has previously been suggested that fewer cases were proceeding to court because more drivers were electing to pay fixed penalty notices (FPNs). Although a separate study has shown that the number of notices being issued has also fallen by more than 50 per cent.

At Lester Morrill, our road traffic team can provide expert legal advice to those facing charges of using a mobile phone at the wheel. For more details about how we can help, please contact us today.

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