Drivers urged to stop using phones

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12,000 drivers in Merseyside have points on their licence for using their mobile whilst driving.

12,000 drivers in Merseyside have points on their licence for using their mobile whilst driving.

The number of people in Merseyside with points on their licence for driving whilst on their mobile phone is the highest in the North West, and one of the highest in the UK.

Figures released today show that as of August 2013 more than 12,000 people in the L postcode area have been caught using their phones whilst driving, compared to just over 10,000 in Manchester.

The numbers were released by road safety charity, Brake, as they launched their campaign to have hands-free sets banned from cars, appealing to drivers to turn off their phones or put them in the boot. They also urge everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who is driving.

The ‘tune into road safety’ campaign marks the beginning of national Road Safety Week, which will run from 18th-24th November.

Dave Foulkes, manager of Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, told JMU Journalism: “Merseyside Road Safety Partnership fully supports Brake’s Road Safety Week and this year’s theme of cutting distraction at the wheel.

“Our partners in Merseyside Police are also aware of the impact of distraction and the high figures are perhaps more of a reflection of the effort they put into to trying to prevent the use of mobile phones whilst driving, as opposed to a higher prevalence of offenders in Merseyside.”

Out of the 67,613 people in the North West who have points on their licence for using their mobiles in the car, 6.7% of them been caught more than once, having six or more points for the same offence. Added to this, six in ten North West schoolchildren report being driven by a driver talking on a phone.

The figures look even more disturbing after recent reports that the number of children killed or seriously injured on Merseyside’s roads is three times higher than the national average.

Katie Shephard, director of Brake, said: “We’re calling on drivers in the North West to tune into road safety: turn off your phone or put it in the boot, and never try to multi-task at the wheel.

“We’re also appealing to everyone to refuse to chat to someone on the phone who’s driving, to help them arrive safely.”

 

About Jessica Hayes, JMU Journalism