Officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command have issued more than 400 fines during a three-week period for the offence of driving while on a mobile phone.
The Met has issued 436 fines since Monday, 8 February to motorists who illegally used a mobile device while they were at the wheel, during a three-week crackdown on offenders. Additionally, in the same period, 71 fines were given for not being in proper control of a vehicle, 45 for dangerous/ careless/inconsiderate driving and 110 for driving a vehicle with tinted windows that impaired vision.
Between Monday, 8 and Sunday, 21 February, the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), in partnership with Transport for London, focussed enforcement on motorists who unlawfully used hand-held mobile devices while driving, and in doing so, posed a very real danger to themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.
Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “The majority of people are responsible motorists who obey the rules of the road and, like me, are opposed to mobile phone use by other drivers.
“However, our ongoing road safety policing continually catches the minority of irresponsible motorists who selfishly use a mobile phone while driving. Their reckless actions could be lethal.
“I would like to remind such offenders that you are a significant danger to yourself, your passengers, other motorists and pedestrians. You are also breaking the law.
“If you are caught using a phone while driving you will be fined £200 and six points deducted from your licence. This could mean retaking your driving test or disqualification from driving altogether. If you cause a collision as a result of being on a phone, you could face prison. I ask you: how would live with yourself if you were the cause of someone’s injury or death as a result of driving while on a mobile phone?
“So, my message is clear: when you are driving, leave the phone alone.”
Using a mobile phone while driving does not just mean holding a phone to your ear. It also includes other distracting activities such as selecting music, streaming, looking on social media, checking emails and filming.
If you were involved in a serious or fatal collision police would investigate to see if you were using a hands-free phone at the time and if so, if it had contributed to the poor standard of driving.
Throughout the weeks of enforcement and as part of ongoing regular patrols, dedicated RTPC patrols use unmarked vehicles, helmet cams, high-seated vehicles and high vantage points to catch those who commit such offences while at the wheel.
The operation and persistent patrols contribute towards the Mayor’s Vision Zero Action Plan launched in 2018 to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London's streets by 2041. Each year, around 4,000 people are killed or seriously injured on our roads, taking a devastating toll on the people involved, their families and communities across the capital. It also supports the National Police Chief’s Council’s national weeks of action in February against such offenders.
+ There are also many helpful strategies for motorists to stop the temptation of using the phone while driving:
- A mobile phone blocking pouch may help by blocking the phone signal whilst you are driving.
- Put the phone in the glove compartment or boot….Try Out of sight, out of mind, out of hand!
- Turn your phone off whilst you are driving to resist the temptation.
- Activate airplane mode.
- Have an App that blocks calls when driving. (These can often send a message that you are driving to enforce the socially acceptable message)
- Some drivers may find it motivating to make a pledge not to use a phone. This can be particularly effective if you do it publically possibly on social media.