Police crackdown on mobile phone users

A NEW crackdown on people using mobile phones while driving has been launched by police.

The use of a mobile phone has been traditionally viewed as use it to make a phone call – but using a phone for texting or social media is also illegal.

Police have also repeated appeals for drivers to slow down and not to drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

The moves by police come several weeks after a survey revealed that a fifth of motorists are unaware that it is illegal to visit social media sites on a phone while driving.


The survey, by motoring group RAC, said that 61% thought it was legal to text when a car is stopped, for example at traffic lights, or in traffic.

Local road safety officer, constable Trevor Kirke, explained that there will be a ‘co-ordinated operational approach’ in the border counties aimed specifically at vulnerable road users and those taking ‘unnecessary and potentially life-changing risks’.

Constable Kirke noted the impact of using mobile phone, and explained: “Inattention and speed, or more accurately, excessive speed for the conditions and drink or drug driving, are consistently the principal causes of the most serious road traffic collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured on roads across Northern Ireland.

“Pedestrians must pay attention to their environment, whether that means not getting distracted by friends or mobile devices, or being especially careful when walking on country roads by walking against the traffic flow or by wearing highly visible clothing.”

With better weather he also offered advice to cyclists, among the most vulnerable road users.

“They must ensure they’re wearing a helmet, using front and rear lights and not listening to music players.

“At the same time, I’ve witnessed some drivers who have narrowly avoided injuring cyclists by driving too close, or through frustration, attempted downright dangerous overtaking manoeuvres putting themselves and others at huge risk.


He concluded: “All road users must share the responsibility to prevent deaths and injuries on our roads.”

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