From Monday 7th February to Sunday 27th February, Staffordshire Police are promoting a campaign to encourage road users to avoid using their mobile phone so they’re #phonefree whilst driving.
Staffordshire statistics from 2021 show that men aged between 24-40 were most likely to be arrested for this offence, and 47% of people arrested were driving a commercial vehicle (van/lorry) at the time.
Key messages are:-
Put it out of reach – this is an easy way to avoid temptation, if you can’t reach it, you won’t be tempted to use it.
Plan your route in advance – many people use their phone as a sat nav, so to avoid touching this whilst driving you should always set your journey before starting to drive.
Use safe driving mode – modern mobile phones have the ability to mute incoming calls or notifications when set to safe driving mode so you won’t be distracted.
Pull over, turn the engine off – always make sure you’ve stopped the vehicle before using your phone.
Help the driver – if you’re travelling with a passenger, they can answer any calls and let the person know you’ll call them back when you’ve safely reached your destination.
Any kind of phone use can be distracting, taking your eyes off the road, even for a couple of seconds to check a notification or skip songs, can be dangerous as you can’t concentrate on two things at once. Using handsfree systems can be distracting too, so the safest thing to do is avoid using your phone whilst driving and be #phonefree.
Your friends, family, or work colleagues won’t mind waiting for a text, call or message if you’re driving. They would rather you got to your destination safely than not at all. If you need to make a call or text, park up somewhere safely and turn the ignition off.
If you’re caught using a phone at the wheel you could receive six points and a £200 fine, and new drivers (within the first two years of holding a full licence) can even have their licence removed by the courts.
The message is simple, help us make Staffordshire’s roads safer by going #PhoneFree.