Home / Mobile / Fewer drivers are using mobile phones at the wheel – Nottingham Post

Fewer drivers are using mobile phones at the wheel – Nottingham Post

The number of fines handed to motorists caught using their phone at the wheel has dropped, Nottinghamshire Police have said.

Figures show between April 1 2016 and March 31 2017, 690 people were reported for the offence of using a handheld mobile phone or device while driving.

The force was unable to provide the Post with figures from previous years, but confirmed the number of fixed penalty notices (fines) issued to drivers using a mobile at the wheel has dropped in the last year.

Liese Bowers-Straw, 48, of Southwell Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, broke her neck in two places after a lorry crashed through the central reservation on the M1 in November 2014.

She has not been able to go back to work for the Border Force at Heathrow and East Midlands airports – and her husband, Dennis, 49, is now her full-time carer.

One man died in the crash between junctions 21a and 22; and the lorry driver, Christy George, from Nottingham, caused the pile-up while distracted on her phone.

The crash left two other people injured as well as killing Murray Simpson, from London.

The M1 (stock photo)
The M1 (stock photo)

She said: “It has completely ruined mine and my husband’s lives. My husband [a former builder] does not work and is my carer. I would hate anything like this to happen again.

“Someone was actually killed in the accident which was even more distressing. Is it worth a life? No it’s not.”

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She added: “I was coming back on the M1 in the usual rush hour traffic at around 6pm. All of a sudden I saw headlights that should not have been coming towards me on that side of the road. I did not know much until the following morning.

“I do not remember anything of the accident. I just remember headlights. I still see the headlights to this day.”

Government figures show the number of deaths caused when driving using a mobile phone in Britain was a contributory factor has risen in the last year.

In the 2016 calendar year there were 32 deaths across Britain and 106 serious injuries when using a mobile phone was a factor.

This increased from 22 deaths and 75 serious injuries the year before.

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The government introduced tougher measures to crack down on drivers caught using a phone in March.

Motorists using a phone while driving will now receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine, up from three points and a £100 penalty.

While motorists caught using their mobile twice or accruing 12 points on their licence will face magistrates’ court, being disqualified and fines of up to £1,000.

Nottinghamshire Police

New drivers, within two years of passing their test, risk having their licence revoked and lorry or bus drivers can be suspended if caught.

Chief Inspector Rob Shields, of the East Midlands Operational Support Services, said: “We recognise we have seen a reduction in the number of tickets issued from previous years but this is based upon exceptional enforcement activity due to localised funding. In the last year, we are issuing more tickets than neighbouring forces in our region.”

Jesse Norman, Road Safety Minister, said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, but the Government will do everything it can to make them even safer.

“That is why earlier this year we doubled the penalty for holding mobiles at the wheel to six points and a £200 fine.”


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