Special police patrols will operate in London to capture motorists using their mobile phones while driving.
The campaign coincides with tough new penalties for using a mobile phone while driving , implemented by the Department for Transport, which came into force on Wednesday (March 1).
Throughout the week across the capital, the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) will deploy dedicated patrols by officers using unmarked vans, helmet cams, high-seated vehicles and high vantage points to catch offenders.
This will include drivers stopped at traffic lights or using their phone whilst in traffic queues.
The Acton Ward Team tweeted today (Thursday March 2) : "Male processed by PC Chim for using phone to check emails in slow moving traffic. "
Those caught using a mobile phone while driving will now be given a £200 fine and six penalty points on their driving licence - double the previous penalties.
Drivers who have had their licence for less than two years will risk losing it if they are caught.
The Met say the latest crackdown is a bid to drive home the risks and consequences of distraction driving, and issued its first ticket under the penalties in Knightsbridge shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
In Hillingdon , the Safer Transport Team issued 16 tickets to drivers who were on their phones on Wednesday.
More than 200 people have been killed nationwide by drivers distracted by their devices in the last 10 years, while driver reaction times have been shown to be twice as slow as normal when driving using a mobile phone, and even 30% worse than when driving under the influence of alcohol.
Between April 6 2016 and February 27 this year there were a total of 9,560 mobile phone offences within the Metropolitan Police area.
RTPC Chief Inspector Colin Carswell said: “We will use a variety of tactics to deal with drivers who present a risk to other road users.
'One of the most dangerous things a driver can do'
“Using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving means a driver’s attention is distracted from the road and is, after speeding, probably the most dangerous thing a driver can do - leading to people being killed and injured on our roads.
“You’re slower at recognising and reacting to hazards if you are driving and using a mobile phone.
“Making a call or sending a text is distracting and can have very serious consequences.
"The grief of a family who have lost a loved one following a traffic collision is immeasurable.
"Is a phone call or text message really that important? The only thing drivers should be concentrating on is driving.”
Siwan Hayward, Transport for London’s Head of Transport Policing, said: “The number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads continues to fall, however distraction remains one of the key sources of road danger.
“The rising trend of collisions involving the use of hand held mobile phones is deeply concerning to us.
“This is why we are stepping up our activity with the Metropolitan Police Service and other partners to address this issue and make our roads safer for everyone.”
Drivers can still use their phone as a satellite navigation but it must be programmed before the journey starts and placed out of the 45-degree angle of the driver’s view.
However, motorists are not allowed to re-programme or touch it whilst driving.
It is legal to use a hands-free device to talk on the phone whilst driving but you can not press any buttons on the phone.
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