Police action on mobile phone and seat belt offences

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TAYSIDE Police will run a 24-hour campaign aimed at mobile phone and seat belt offences throughout the region on Monday, February 28.

The campaign, which starts at midnight, will also target other road offences such as speeding.

All eight of Scotland’s Police Forces will be taking part.

Sergeant Watson Fraser, based in Tayside Police’s Road Policing Department, said: “Unfortunately there are constant reminders of the impact that these offences can have on road safety. The consequences of that momentary lapse in concentration when a driver answers their mobile phone can be devastating to all concerned. As soon as a driver answers a call their concentration is split and as a result they cannot give their full attention to the road.

“Not wearing a seat belt can also have horrendous consequences. In a collision those travelling in a vehicle can quite often be thrown from the vehicle and that sadly will usually result in serious injury if not death. “No call can be that urgent that a driver needs to commit an offence by answering it whilst the vehicle is in motion. Even the simple process of looking at your caller id can be enough to provide that split second distraction that results in a collision. If you need to use the phone, then stop at the first safe opportunity. Better still switch the phone off and pick up any missed calls when it is safe and convenient to do so. Remember, at best you will get a fine and points on your licence, at worst you risk death or serious injury if your inattention results in a collision.”

Sergeant Fraser was also keen to remind motorists and their passengers of the need to buckle up and use seatbelts.

He said: “One of the reasons that the number of deaths and injuries on roads have reduced in recent years is directly attributable to the use of seat belts. Properly fitted, they will prevent you from being thrown from the vehicle in a collision. Putting your seat belt on should be one of the first thing you do when you sit in a vehicle. Not doing this is something you may ultimately regret.”

During 2010, a total of 968 people were reported to the Procurator Fiscal for using a mobile phone while driving and were given a conditional offer of fixed penalty with a £60 fine and three points on their licence. A total of 985 were reported for failing to wear a seat belt and this includes the 34 drivers of cars where a child was not suitably restrained. The penalty for failure to wear a seat belt is now £60.