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Norfolk Police are launching a #StandingUpForHangingUp campaign in order to tackle drivers who text and talk behind the wheel.

The Mobile Phone Campaign, which starts today (Monday 8 February 2021), will run until Sunday 14 February, coinciding with a nationwide campaign led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team and Road Casualty Reduction Team will be carrying-out extra patrols using both marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, all fitted with cameras to obtain evidence to help ensure successful prosecutions.

As of legislation, which came into effect in 2017, drivers found committing this offence will automatically receive six points on their driving licence and a £200 fine.

During 2020 Norfolk Police issued 127 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) to motorists for the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Drivers can also be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention for using their phone when behind the wheel, particularly if caught filming, watching videos or browsing the internet for example.

Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, Head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “We know the vast majority of drivers agree that it is completely unacceptable to drive a car whilst using a mobile phone, however there is still a minority who continue to put the lives of others at risk.

“Although we continue to target these offences throughout the year, these campaigns give us the opportunity to target the #Fatal4 offences which make you more likely to be involved in a collision. The aim to improve road safety and reduce the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Drivers who use a mobile phone at the wheel are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, are less likely to notice or react to hazards and tend to show poor lane discipline.

“A common misconception is that a handsfree device is a safe option. Recent research suggests that this can be equally as distracting and again lead to a higher chance of being involved in a serious or fatal collision.

“We all have a responsibility to keep our roads safe and we are urging drivers to think twice and don’t answer the phone whilst driving. It is not worth the risk.”

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green, said: “It is disappointing to see so many drivers ignored the warnings and continued to use mobile phones while driving on our county’s roads in 2020.

“The simple fact is that dangerous driving kills, whether through the use of a mobile phone at the wheel, speeding, drink or drug driving or not wearing a seatbelt.

“There is simply no excuse. Please listen to the advice and warnings given by my police colleagues and make a change to your behaviour. Think of other road users and remember the life you save may even be your own.”

For updates throughout the campaign please visit the @NSRAPT Twitter using the hashtag #StandingUpForHangingUp

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