You’re already running late for an important meeting when you jump in your car. You intend to drive safely but then, your phone rings. It’s your manager to see where you are. You fight your better instincts and answer.

Those few seconds where your eyes slip from the road to your phone could have fatal, life changing consequences for yourself and others. Don’t be a distracted driver.

Figures from the Department for Transport show that a driver impaired or distracted by their phone was a contributory factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014, including 21 that were fatal and 84 classed as serious.

Still not convinced about the seriousness of using a phone while driving? Studies have found that talking on a hand-held mobile phone can impair driving more than driving above the drink drive limit.

The City of London Police knows just how serious using a phone while driving can be, which is why we are continuing to crack down on drivers who use handheld devices at the wheel. Throughout this week (Monday 14 to Friday 18 November) we will be participating in a national awareness week to drivers of the dangers of using their phones while driving.

This is the second NPCC national week of action against drivers using mobile phones. The first in May of this year resulted in 2,323 offences detected across the week. Similar campaigns have also targeted mobile phones, including Operation Tramline across 25 forces which targeted HGV drivers and resulted in 1,713 offences recorded between April 2015 and July 2016.

Recent statistics show that the City of London Police is one of the few forces nationally to see an increase in penalties given to drivers illegally using their phone at the wheel. In 2015/16, there was a 20% increase in the number of fixed penalty notices issued by the City of London Police to drivers who used their phones while at the wheel.

Inspector David Aspinall, operational lead for roads policing in the City, said : “We know that the roads within the City are some of the busiest in London, so the need for drivers to stay alert and focused is so important. This week is just one of the ways we demonstrate how seriously we take road safety.

“When it comes to phones and driving-our message is clear. Just don’t use it. Those few seconds to check your phone, is all the time it takes to get into a crash. It just isn’t worth it.

“Technology is ever present in our society and for the most part, that is a great thing; but when it comes to driving, put your phone on silent and focus on the road.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said : “Forces are coming together this week with innovative approaches to catching those driving when distracted and campaigns to make drivers think twice about using their mobiles at the wheel.

“Tackling mobile phone use by drivers requires police enforcement using new technology and tactics to maximise the numbers of people we can stop, combined with strong effective penalties and creative national campaigns to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink driving.

“When you’re getting in your car, remember don’t put others at risk – keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.”

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