Warning after Mercury reveals texting drivers

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 June 2013

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POLICE have warned drivers using mobiles at the wheel could face 'tragic' consequences after a Mercury investigation revealed 53 drivers texting or talking while driving in a single hour in a Weston road.

A total of 55 drivers were spotted using a mobile phone or sat-nav while at the wheel in an hour on the A370 roundabout by Asda, including one man who held a phone to his face while driving an articulated lorry one-handed around the roundabout.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has warned drivers they face ‘serious injury or death’ as well as a fine and points on their licence.

The majority of users were either holding the phone against their face at the wheel, held it in front of their face on loudspeaker or held the phone in their lap to text.

The results were taken in an hour on the afternoon of June 7 while all vehicles were moving. Several people were also spotted eating, drinking and smoking at the wheel, while one woman applied lipstick while driving round the roundabout.

Those caught using a mobile while driving will be handed a £60 fine and three points on their licence.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “Driving while using a mobile phone without a hands-free device and even worse texting is one of the major causes of collision on our roads.

“With this in mind drivers who disregard legislation developed to reduce death and serious injury on our roads should not be surprised when they fall foul of police intervention that results in a fine and or points on their licence.

“We will be paying particular attention to the location based on the reported findings. Finally it is everyone’s personal responsibility to contribute toward safer roads.

“The last thing anyone wants to receive is that knock on the door to be confronted by a police officer bearing tragic news following a collision attributed by the use of a mobile whilst driving. No telephone call is worth it so consider the consequences.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hughes said: “We always encourage members of the public to report any crimes or concerns they have to us and these will be passed to the appropriate neighbourhood team. We do not condone the use of phones and other electrical devices while driving and would urge all drivers to install hands free kits to ensure they keep themselves and others safe on the road.”

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