Police in Suffolk and Norfolk will be targeting motorists who ‘dice with death’ using mobile phones behind the wheel.
It comes as officers from the joint roads policing unit take part in a national campaign targeted at drivers who use mobile phones, led by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
Patrols will be carried out in both counties in marked and unmarked vehicles or order to prevent and detect offences. The campaign started yesterday and will run until Wednesday (September 24-30).
A number of drivers have already been stopped and dealt with for the offence; 21 drivers were dealt with yesterday during an operation on the A12 in Great Yarmouth involving officers from the Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT).
Police were also involved in a short pursuit in Gorleston after the driver of a car seen using a mobile phone failed to stop for police on the bypass. The suspect abandoned his vehicle but was detained by police a short while later in Waunci Crescent.
The 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving without insurance, driving without an MoT and driving while using a mobile phone.
The vehicle was subsequently searched by a drugs dog resulting in officers seizing a number of wraps, believed to be Class A drugs.
The driver was further arrested on suspicion of drug possession and remains in custody at Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre.
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: “Driving while using a mobile phone is dangerous because it distracts your attention from the road. You can’t second guess the actions of other road users and therefore you need to be alert and concentrating 100% to be in a position to deal with the unexpected. People who use their phone while driving are quite literally dicing with death.
“Driving while using a mobile phone is becoming more socially unacceptable, as drink driving did over the years, and we will be pro-active in our approach to target motorists and raise awareness of the dangers.”
Driving while using a mobile phone is one of the fatal four behaviours - along with speeding, drink driving and not wearing a seat belt - which make people more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a collision.
Using a mobile phone behind the wheel is one of the biggest causes of serious and fatal collisions.
Drivers caught using a phone face a £60 fine and risk having their licence endorsed with three penalty points. The fine can also rise to £1,000 if taken to court and £2,500 if driving a bus, coach or heavy goods vehicle.