Officers take to roads in HGV as part of crackdown on drivers using phones

.Staffordshire Police has launched a crackdown on people using phones while driving

Staffordshire Police is urging motorists to be ‘phone free’ behind the wheel after medics warned that “a moment of distraction” with a phone can cost lives.

The month-long campaign will see road policing officers heading out across the county in patrol cars and on motorbikes in a bid to snare drivers flouting the law.

And a lorry will also be used to enable police to spot other HGV drivers using phones, repeating an exercise that was carried out last year by officers targeting dangerous driving on the M6.

PC Dave Cruxton, who is running the operation, said it wasn’t just making calls or sending texts that was distracting drivers on the county’s roads.

“You will find drivers streaming videos on their devices all while they should be concentrating on what is in front of them,” he said.

“When we talk about consequences it isn’t just having points on your licence but it can be suffering serious and even fatal injuries.

“If people know they are tempted to use their phone while driving, then why not put it in the glove compartment?

A call and a text is not worth losing your life for.

“I have noticed that when we stop a motorist they will give an excuse as to why they were using their mobile device whether it was getting directions, changing a music track, or altering some settings on it.

“Ultimately they are taking their concentration away from the road.”

Dr Richard Fawcett, a consultant in emergency medicine at Royal Stoke University Hospital, said a moment of distraction with a phone can destroy people’s lives.

“I’ve seen far too many lives lost and families broken as a result of road traffic accidents,” he said.

“Texting whilst driving drastically increases the chances of a motorist being in an accident and the last thing you want to see on your way home after a long day is myself or one of my colleagues coming to your rescue as you fight for your life all because in that crucial moment they were too distracted by their phone.

“These moments can change lives forever.”

Anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving receives six points on their licence and a GBP200 fine, while those who are still within the first two years of holding a full licence face losing it.

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