Police using motorists to spy on phone users

UK police are encouraging other motorists to report drivers who are using mobile phones behind the wheel.

The move comes as part of a week-long campaign targeting phone users, and statistics released after just one day reveal the extent of the problem, with police saying that 23 drivers were caught in just four hours in one town centre.

One driver was caught twice during that period, meaning they’ll face a £200 fine and six points on their licence.

The ‘spotter’ scheme was thought up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and asks motorists to pass on the offenders’ details to officers, rather than confronting people themselves.

As well as these civilian snitches, police will be patrolling in unmarked cars specifically looking for people texting and making calls while driving.

The move comes after forces were criticised for handing out fewer and fewer fines. The number of tickets issued to mobile phone users has dropped by 86 per cent over four years – last year just 16,900 fines were issued, compared with 123,100 in 2011.

The RAC says that a decline in dedicated road traffic officers is to blame for the reduced number of people caught.

There have also been some high-profile crashes involving drivers distracted by texting recently. Last month, Tomasz Kroker, 30, was jailed for 10 years for killing four members of the same family when his lorry crashed into their stationary car on the A34 while scrolling through music on his phone.

Darren Cassey


November 15, 2016

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