Norfolk Police launch crackdown on drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks and Norfolk County Council Driver and Rider Development Manager Sally Plail. ANL-150126-115844001
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks and Norfolk County Council Driver and Rider Development Manager Sally Plail. ANL-150126-115844001
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Norfolk police are promising to get tough on drivers caught using their mobile phones while behind the wheel of their vehicle.

It is a national enforcement campaign targeting drivers using mobile phones.

Patrols will be carried out in marked and unmarked vehicles in order to prevent and detect offences.

Drivers caught using a phone will be given a £60 fixed penalty notice and have their licence endorsed with three penalty points.

This can rise to £1,000 if taken to court and £2,500 if the offender is driving a bus, coach, or heavy goods vehicle.

As part of the campaign a flashing matrix sign linked to a Mobile Phone Detection System (MPDS) has been unveiled in Martineau Lane, Norwich.

After six weeks it will begin a journey to other towns in the county.

The mobile system has a sensor that can detect any phone call or text message being received by an approaching car. It then passes the information to the sign.

Iain Temperton, road safety manager at Norfolk County Council, said: “We have been trialling the MPDS at a number of locations and it’s proved to be a flexible and extremely useful piece of equipment that we’re now ready to roll out across the county.

“The system can’t detect whether it’s a passenger using a phone in a vehicle or whether a hands-free device is being used. But of course, those people don’t need to be worried if they get a flash from the sign.

“But for those drivers who are on their mobiles, the system is a powerful, effective and very public reminder that they have been detected.”

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “I welcome any innovations in technology which can be used alongside traditional methods to improve safety on our roads.”

The campaign is being backed up with “Ignore it…. Why wouldn’t you?” posters and advertisements .