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Staffordshire crackdown on drivers using mobile phones

A new crackdown is aiming to tackle the problem of drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel.

The Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership is carrying out the campaign using highly visible yellow vans, capturing on camera people who are flouting the law.

Between January 2010 and December 2011, 8,039 fines were issued in the county for the offence, with motorists caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving given a £60 fine and three points on their licence.

County Councillor Mike Maryon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is a major joint operation which aims to deter people from putting not only their own lives, but the lives of innocent pedestrians and motorists, in danger by using a hand held mobile phone.

“Research shows that you are four times more likely to crash if you are using a mobile phone when driving – a big leap in terms of risk. The team will be out in force across the entire county, creating a very visible presence in a bid to deter people from breaking the law. The aim of this is to make Staffordshire’s roads safer.”

Chief Inspector Steve Smytheman, of the Staffordshire Police Roads Policing Team, added: “This operation will allow us to specifically target and deter motorists using their mobiles while driving and it forms part of our ongoing work to tackle this issue. It is an excellent example of how, through partnership working, we can make a difference and reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed on our roads.”

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