Drivers across the Staffordshire Moorlands area are being warned that they could now face points on their licence as well as a fine – if they are caught using their mobile phone while driving.
Under the new legislation, offenders will receive six penalty points and a fine of £200, and Staffordshire Police are calling on all drivers to sign an online pledge called BePhoneSmart. Organised by the RAC, it gives drivers the chance to make a promise – to themselves, their family and their employer – that they won’t use a handheld phone while at the wheel. Drivers who make the promise can quickly share it across social media profiles and encourage others to do the same.
Motorists are being advised by Staffordshire Police to follow the below dos and don’ts:
– Use a hands free kit for all mobile phone calls. This means you will only need to press a single button either on the steering wheel if it is connected by Bluetooth to the vehicle or on an earpiece and then your hands can remain on the wheel for the most amount of time.
– Pull over in a safe place and turn your engine off if you need to make a call, consult your phone or make alterations to your Sat-Nav route. It is not safe to try to do any of this whilst driving as it affects your ability to concentrate on the road and endangers those around you.
Use your phone on loud speaker. You will still need to answer the call and handle your phone which means you are not concentrating fully on the road ahead.
Have any contact with your phone whilst the engine is running. The safest bet is to leave it in your pocket and deal with any calls or messages when you arrive at your destination.Use your phone whilst stationary in traffic or at traffic lights. Although the vehicle has stopped it is a live environment and you will be expected to keep up with the flow of traffic and remain alert.
Using your phone while driving means you are not looking at what is happening around you and may cause disruption or an accident.
For road safety advice, go online to the Staffordshire Police website.