Drop in driv­ers caught on phone

Fig­ures plum­met by 400 in a year

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Stephen Tem­lett

The num­ber of driv­ers caught us­ing a mo­bile phone in the re­gion has dropped by al­most 400.

Fig­ures show a re­duc­tion of 71 per cent in the past year.

In March 2017 fines for be­ing caught on a mo­bile be­hind the wheel dou­bled to £200 and the num­ber of penalty points was in­creased to six.

The first year since that change saw the num­ber of in­ci­dents drop sharply from 553 to 159 be­tween April 2017 and March 2018.

The in­creased penal­ties, plus a rise in the num­ber of hands-free de­vices, are be­hind the drop, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Chief In­spec­tor Stu­art David­son said: “The vast re­duc­tion in mo­bile phone of­fences can be con­trib­uted to in-car safety sys­tems and to the in­crease in penalty points and fine.”

De­spite the big drop, po­lice are still keen to high­light the po­ten­tially deadly re­sult of be­ing distracted by a de­vice while be­hind the wheel.

Chief In­spec­tor David­son added: “It is a pos­i­tive re­sult but we did have a tragic case where the driver was distracted by his mo­bile phone.”

Lorry driver David Shields was on his phone for 18 sec­onds be­fore his truck col­lided with Yvonne Black­man’s sta­tion­ary car in traf­fic on the A75.

Yvonne died of her in­juries sev­eral days later and Shields was jailed for five years. He has ap­pealed his sen­tence.

Crime Us­ing a phone while driv­ing will cost £200 fine

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