Using a phone while driving can devastate lives

Police will be cracking down on drivers who use their mobile phones
Police will be cracking down on drivers who use their mobile phones

Using a handheld mobile phone while driving could have devastating consequences, that’s the message from police running a month-long Think! Campaign.

Not only does it cost people their lives but those who cause collisions and survive can receive long jail sentences.

This month, the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit will be out looking for motorists breaking the law.

Driving while using a phone is one of the ‘fatal four’ driving offences, along with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink or drug driving.

Inspector Mark Rogers said the mobile phones of drivers involved in crashes could be analysed to determine whether they had been used at any point before the collision.

In March 2013, a 31-year-old woman from Peterborough caused a fatal collision on the A47 at Thorney Toll, near Peterborough, after texting and making calls from two phones.

She drove her Jaguar X-Type into the back of a Peugeot 206, shunting it into the path of an oncoming articulated lorry, killing the driver, a 27-year-old man from Leicester.

Police seized her mobile phone, which she had denied using, and a second phone from the car. Examinations showed she had sent and received both texts and calls shortly before the crash.

The woman, who had previously been caught using a mobile phone at the wheel twice, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for six years at Peterborough Crown Court in July last year. She was also banned from driving for eight years.

Insp Rogers said: “This case demonstrates the potentially horrifying consequences of being distracted from driving by mobile phones.

“And it shows that any use of mobile phones will be picked up by officers investigating the causes behind the collision.

“If you don’t end up seriously or fatally injured, you may well end up serving a significant time in prison; either way it will ruin your life.”

The penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is three penalty points and a fine of £100.