More than 120 drivers caught using a mobile phone on Suffolk roads in one week
- Credit: Archant
More than 120 people were caught driving while using a mobile phone in Suffolk during a week-long enforcement campaign.
Operation Ringtone was a nationwide initiative which ran between Monday, January 22 and Sunday, January 28.
In total road policing officers in Suffolk issued 122 Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) to drivers using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.
This is almost double the 62 drivers who were issued TORs during the last week of action in July 2017.
Chief insp. Kris Barnard, head of Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Road Policing and Firearms Unit said it was a 'staggering number of people'.
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He said: 'I am deeply concerned such a high number of people are willing to risk people's lives by using their phone whilst driving.'
'However, I think the fact almost twice as many people were caught during this week of action compared with the last one in July 2017, is as a result of an intelligence-led concerted effort of officers across the county.'
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During the campaign officers patrolled the roads with marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, which were all fitted with cameras to obtain evidence to help secure successful prosecutions.
Mr Barnard explained many of the drivers stopped stated that they were not aware the penalties for the offence increased last year
He said: 'Offenders now receive a £200 fine and six penalty points, which for someone who has had their licence for less than two years would see it revert back to a provisional one.
'What all this does highlight though is that far too many people are oblivious to just how dangerous using your phone whilst driving is and the devastating consequences it can have if it causes you to be involved in a serious or fatal collision.
Mr Barnard added: 'Our message is simple – don't put lives in danger and leave your phone alone whilst behind the wheel.'
Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore pledged his support to the initiative.
He said: 'I hope the publicity around these campaigns, the higher penalties that drivers face for using their mobile phone, and the fact that members of the public are submitting footage, will finally make those who continue to flaunt the law take note.'