Police launch seatbelt and phone crackdown

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A CRACKDOWN on people using mobile phones and not wearing seatbelts while driving is taking place next week.

Police in Rutland are working with the Safer Rutland Partnership and Rutland County Council to catch and warn motorists about the dangers of their behaviour.

A similar campaign was run in May 2010 and 14 people were stopped and given a ticket for using their mobile phone while driving during a five day period.

This year’s campaign will run from Monday to Friday next week, and police are being even more vigilant, also stopping and fining people that are not wearing seat belts as well.

Rutland police commander Insp Johnny Monks said: “Driving while talking on a mobile phone is very dangerous because it is so distracting.

“The biggest problem is that your concentration is impaired, and that could result in you crashing and hurting yourself, hurting somebody else, or worst of all killing somebody.

“We will be pulling people over and giving them road safety information to try and get the message through that it isn’t acceptable to talk on a mobile while driving.”

People stopped for using their mobile phones while driving will be given a £60 fine and three points on their licence.

People stopped for not wearing a seatbelt will be given a £60 fine.

Insp Monks added: “Your chances of surviving a road traffic collision if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt are greatly reduced and that applies to both front and back seat passengers.

“It should just be automatic to put your seatbelt on when you get in a vehicle and that is what we’ll be reminding people.”

Police met with members of the Safer Rutland Partnership and Rutland County Council at a Rutland Road Safety Summit in October last year to discuss ways to make the roads in the county safer.

Chairman of the Safer Rutland Partnership Barrie Roper said: “I am constantly being asked how we can reduce accidents on Rutland’s roads.

“This campaign will hopefully change driver behaviour and I welcome these continued police initiatives and look forward to seeing the results.

“This operation will ensure that drivers drive safely and properly whilst on the highways of Rutland.”