Police and Crime Commissioner backs campaign warning of the “absolute danger” of using a mobile phone when driving (27 May 2015)

Mark Burns-Williamson, the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has given his backing to a national campaign to warn of the "absolute danger" of using a mobile phone when driving.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) is holding a week-long campaign to raise awareness of the dangers - with motorists four times more likely to have a crash if using a mobile phone when driving.

Studies also suggest that using a hand-held mobile when at the wheel can be more dangerous than drink-driving.

Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"Road safety is an important issue for me and for people across West Yorkshire and I support the NPCC campaign that raises awareness about the serious risks of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

"I have spoken to police officers who have witnessed first-hand the unimaginable consequences that driving whilst on the phone can have and I am determined to work with partners to find local solutions to local problems to help make our roads safer.

"I have previously helped to fund the launch of a hard-hitting DVD called 'It'll all end in tears' to get the message across about the dangers. The DVD focuses young people on their personal responsibility, the impact of not wearing a seatbelt and of the dangers of using mobile phones or devices whilst driving, not only to themselves, but to their friends, family and local community.

Inspector Joanne Field, who leads West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Unit, said: ''The law banning the use of mobile phones while driving has been in place for over 11 years now but we are still seeing thousands of people each year flouting the law and endangering not only themselves but other road users as well.

''The risks associated with using a phone while behind the wheel are very clear. During my police career I've seen the fatal consequences of people who've been distracted by using a phone while driving on far too many occasions. Make no mistake, there is an absolute danger to sending that text message or making that quick call while you're in charge of a vehicle.''

Throughout this week, officers from West Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Units will be mounting additional proactive patrols to target those who persist with using a mobile phone while driving.

If you are caught using a hand-held phone while driving, you will get three penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100.

The points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs. If you are convicted of driving carelessly or dangerously while using a hand-held phone you can be disqualified from driving, receive a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.

Drivers can use a hands-free phone while driving but you can still be prosecuted if you're not in proper control of your vehicle. The penalties are same as being caught using a hand-held phone.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019