Don't Use Your Mobile At The Wheel

Thursday 16th June 2016

eastbourne buzz news - Operation crackdown

Dozens of drivers were caught in a police crackdown on mobile phone usage in Sussex.

During a week-long operation in support of the National Police Chief's Council, Sussex Police stopped a total of 126 motorists on suspicion of driving while using handheld devices, or driving while distracted by other means.

The purpose of the campaign, which ran from Monday 23 May to Sunday 29 May, was to target offenders and highlight the risks associated with driving while distracted.

Sergeant Phil Badman, who led the operation in conjunction with the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said: "Studies show that drivers using hands-free or handheld devices are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards, and even the most careful of drivers can be distracted by a call or a text. A split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash, and could mean the difference between life and death.

"Whether you use your phone to read or send a text, to make or take a call, or to check or update social media, it is an offence to do so while driving. The same applies if you use your phone while stopped in static traffic or while waiting at a red light – the distraction caused can present a serious risk to yourself and to others.”

Offenders are liable to fines, course referrals, endorsements on their driving licenses and court summons.

Of those stopped for offences during the seven-day operation, 105 involved the use of a mobile phone.

101 drivers were issued with a fixed penalty notice or traffic offence report, three were given verbal warnings and one received a court summons.

77 of the offences involved men (28 women), and 74 involved drivers aged over 25 (31 under 25).

Sgt Badman added: "We are mindful that many members of the public feel angry when they see a driver using a mobile phone, and this is reflected in the number of complaints we receive. We take all reports of driving while distracted seriously, and people can continue to report this via Operation Crackdown (

"Sadly, we receive reports of such actions on an almost daily basis. However, I would like to reassure members of the public that we take all reports extremely seriously and we deal with offenders robustly.”

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