Police catch hundreds of phoning drivers

Motorist on the phone
Motorist on the phone

A TOTAL of 285 motorists were caught on their mobile phone during a week-long crackdown by traffic police in Wigan and the rest of Greater Manchester.

Traffic officers took part in the week of action as part of a national campaign to target driver distraction.

While this operation focussed on mobile phone users, other distractions can include things such as eating at the wheel, applying make-up or programming sat-navs

Inspector Tony Allt

Of those caught, 219 were men and 119 were between the ages of 25 and 34.

The majority of offenders received a traffic offence report, while others received a summons or verbal warning. Some may be offered a course instead of prosecution.

Inspector Tony Allt from GMP’s Roads Policing Unit said: “While this operation focussed on mobile phone users, other distractions can include things such as eating at the wheel, applying make-up or programming sat-navs.

“Few offences generate such public displeasure as motorists using their mobile at the wheel and it easy to see why; the consequences can be devastating and are often completely avoidable.

“Tackling these types of offences is daily business for our roads policing team and our advice to motorists is to switch their phone off or silence it while on the move. If you do need to make a call, pull over in a safe place before doing so.”

For updates from GMP’s traffic unit, follow them on twitter - @gmptraffic. To report a crime or incident, call 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

A traffic offence report is an alternative to a fixed penalty ticket. There are two types:

A non-endorsable ticket whose value can range from between £30 and £100 and no points are put on a driver’s licence;

An endorsable ticket whose value can range from between £100 and £300 and can result in between three and six penalty points on a motorist’s licence. Some endorsable offences may be eligible for an educational course, however certain criteria needs to be met including not having attended the same course within a three-year period.