Posted: Thursday 4 February 2021, 15:03
Throughout February we are supporting the National Roads Partnership by raising awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Across the UK in 2019, 18 people were killed and a further 135 people were seriously injured in road traffic collisions (RTCs) where a driver using a mobile phone was considered the main contributory factor towards the collision.
Prevention Crew Manager Matthew Bill said: “According to the RAC Report on Motoring 2019, 51% of drivers aged between 17 and 24 confess to making or receiving calls on a handheld phone while they are driving.
“This is an alarmingly high rate, which is not only putting the individual at risk, but also their passengers, and any surrounding people and vehicles.
“We’d like to encourage everyone to have an honest conversation with their children, relatives and friends about using mobile phones whilst driving and the impact it may have on their and others lives. If someone loses their licences or suffers serious injuries in a RTC it can have a long lasting impact on their social, work, and family life.
“Please help us keep Derbyshire’s roads safe, and avoid using a mobile phone whilst driving.”
PC Luke Christian, Derbyshire Constabulary RPU operational lead, said: “Our officers see on a regular basis the fatal consequences of distracted driving.
“Drivers are slower at seeing and reacting to hazards when using mobile devices, it can drastically impair your control of the vehicle and put you four times more likely to be involved in a crash.
“Unfortunately, many people who use hands free think that they have taken the safe option and, therefore, think that this operation doesn’t apply to them. However, they’d be surprised to learn that research shows when using a hands-free kit while behind the wheel can actually be as dangerous as drink driving.
“The message is simple - don’t use your mobile phone while driving, put it away before setting off. Place it somewhere like your glove compartment, so that you won’t be tempted to use it and if using hands-free devices, please do so responsibly and with care.
“If we see you using your mobile devices whilst driving, we are prepared to take action to see dangerous road users punished.
“No call, text, social media comment or streaming service is worth losing your life for, or risking the lives of fellow passengers, passing pedestrians or other road users.”