Mobile phones in cars clampdown

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ROAD safety chiefs have launched Operation Hands Free.

Police have teamed up with the Department of Infrastructure’s road safety unit for the mobile phone initiative.

Motorists using mobile phones are responsible for a number of accidents on the roads, say the police.

Statistics show a total of 37 accidents last year were caused by drivers being distracted behind the wheel.

The campaign has been launched in response to this figure in a bid to deter the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving.

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK said: ‘If you cannot divert your calls to voice mail whilst driving ensure your blue tooth hands-free device is enabled.

‘Last year, being distracted behind the wheel caused 37 road traffic accidents in the Isle of Man. It is important for motorists to remember that it is an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving, whether making a call or texting.

‘I would also like to remind drivers that if their phone rings they should pull over in a safe place where they will not be a danger.’

The Road Safety Unit will be running an awareness campaign supported by radio adverts and notice board publicity.

Members of the public can download the poster images from the department website for displaying on their work place notice board.

Inspector Mark Britton of the Roads Policing Unit said: ‘Mobile phones cause a number of accidents on our roads and we are fully backing Operations Hands Free.

‘Don’t risk causing an accident or being prosecuted – make sure you are hands free or pull over safely if you need to answer a call.’

If prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving, the maximum penalty is £1,000 and the police will be working hard to enforce this during the campaign.

l What do you think of this latest campaign?

Are the police and the Department of Infrastructure right to focus on motorists using mobile phones? Have you ever seen a driver using a phone without a hands-free kit? Did you report them?

Email us at newsdesk@newsiom.co.im and let us know what you think

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