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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 May, 2003, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Number's up for phone drivers
Man driving while using a mobile phone
Police believe they have prevented more than 60 crashes

Hundreds of drivers in the West Midlands have been fined for using mobile telephones at the wheel.

Operation Breeze was designed to educate motorists about the dangers of driving while using mobile phones.

Since its launch on 1 February, 3,037 motorists have been stopped in the region.

Officers said they believed their campaign had prevented more than 60 crashes.

Of the motorists stopped by officers, 1,460 were told of the risks they took and 1,570 were issued with a 30 fixed penalty ticket.

Eight drivers have been referred to the National Driving Improvement Scheme, which is designed to improve driver awareness, and 22 motorists are facing court proceedings.

The operation's co-ordinator, Sergeant Dave Swift, said: "Research has shown the use of a mobile phone will cause some distraction to the driver.

Using a mobile phone while driving may be responsible for 2% of all injury collisions
Sergeant Dave Swift

"Talking on a mobile phone is not like talking to a passenger who can see the changing road conditions ahead.

"But the majority of drivers did feel that they could manage any associated risks.

"Using a mobile phone while driving may be responsible for 2% of all injury collisions.

"If we have prevented 2% of casualties within the West Midlands by stopping over 3,000 drivers who use mobiles phones while driving, then at least 60 families have been saved the heartache of personal injury."

He added that, although the formal part of Operation Breeze had come to an end, officers would continue to prosecuting motorists who were a danger to themselves and other road users.

There is no specific legislation that outlaws driving while using a mobile telephone.

Police launch mobile crackdown
17 Apr 03  |  England
Crackdown on phone-using drivers
01 Apr 03  |  England

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