Last call for drivers who phone at wheel

DERBYSHIRE Police are cracking down on motorists who use their mobile phone while driving.

An education and enforcement operation is taking place this week to coincide with Brake’s national Road Safety Week.

Officers already stop drivers seen using their mobile phones behind the wheel but extra patrols will take place across the county to crackdown on offenders.

Anyone caught can receive an automatic fixed penalty notice of three points on their driving licence and a £60 fine. The maximum penalty is disqualification from driving and a £1,000 fine and this rises to £2,500 for bus drivers or people who drive goods vehicles.

Inspector Adam Waterfall said: “Drivers who talk on a phone are four times more likely to be involved in a crash and reading or writing text messages behind the wheel is even more distracting as you focus your eyes and mind on your mobile.”

Between April 2010 and March 2011, 1,362 drivers were given notices for using a mobile while driving.

From April 2009 until March 2010, 1,696 drivers were given notices for the offence.

The crackdown runs until Sunday.