Somerset County Council’s road safety team is working with partners across the region to urge drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
Driving while using a mobile is one of the top five factors in fatal and serious road injuries and research has found that drivers who use a mobile phone while driving are:
- 4 times more likely to be involved in a collision
- 2 times slower to react if they text and drive than if they drink drive, and this increases to 3 times slower if they use a handheld phone
- less likely to see road signs
- take longer to react to hazards
- more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic
Using a mobile phone whilst driving will therefore be the focus of a national campaign led by the NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) during February, which Avon and Somerset Police are supporting, and there will be additional enforcement activity planned from Monday 21st February.
Somerset County Council recommend that phones are away from the driver’s reach and either switched off or on silent while driving as criminal penalties of using a hand-held phone when driving include 6 penalty points and up to a £2500 fine. You’ll also lose your licence if you opens in a new windowpassed your driving test in the last two years.
Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “Driving is a complex task that requires your full attention, and the consequences of being distracted can be very serious.
“By supporting high-profile national events such as this road safety campaign, the council’s road safety team can help spread the vital message on the dangers of distracted driving and help to keep road users safe, and I am very pleased that we are working in partnership to get the message about this out across the region.”
If you have video evidence from a dashcam or cycle-cam of someone using a mobile phone at the wheel then this can be reported to opens in a new windowAvon and Somerset Police.
This work is supported by Avon and Somerset Police, Avon Fire and Rescue Service Bristol City Council, Bath and North Somerset Council, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, North Somerset Council, Somerset County Council, and National Highways.
Somerset Road Safety provides advice to thousands every year through educational events; they run Bikeability courses for school children and train School Crossing Patrols. Please visit the opens in a new windowSomerset Road Safety website for more information and follow them on social media – Somerset Road Safety on Facebook, @SCC_RoadSafety on Twitter and @somersetroadsafety on Instagram.