Drop in drivers caught on phone
Figures plummet by 400 in a year
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