[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Final call for phone car drivers
Driver using mobile phone
Police stopped 173 drivers for using hand-held mobile phones
Motorists using hand-held mobile phones while driving cannot excuse the dangers they are risking, police have warned.

John Vine, chief constable of Tayside Police, said drivers have had enough time to adjust to the ban, introduced in 2003 and strengthened this year.

The comment comes after 199 motorists were caught flouting the law during a nationwide police crackdown on Monday.

All of Scotland's eight forces took part in the operation to mark six months since the law was toughened.

New penalties for drivers who use hand-held mobiles, including a 60 fine and three penalty points for the offence, were introduced in February.

Driving habits

The law was also extended to include people who do not have proper control of a vehicle, which could include those using a hands-free kit.

Chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) road policing, John Vine, described mobile phone use while driving as an "inexcusable habit".

He said: "We've given Scottish drivers enough time to adjust their driving habits to comply with the new legislation.

John Vine
John Vine said driving while on the phone was an "inexcusable habit"

"But it seems these drivers have ignored the legislation and were reminded on Monday how potentially dangerous their actions were."

The highest number of offenders were detected in Strathclyde, where 96 motorists were stopped.

In Grampian the figure was 33, with 26 drivers detected by Lothian and Borders police.

Tayside Police stopped 19 motorists, while Dumfries and Galloway officers recorded 11 offenders and Central Scotland Police recorded 10.

Northern Constabulary detected three motorists for mobile phone use, while in Fife only one driver was stopped.

"Luckily, we had no collisions involving injury or death that resulted from a driver using a mobile phone," Mr Vine added.

"However, that should not be a reason for people to continue an inexcusable habit.

"I'll say it again, divert your call, not your attention. The consequences could be disastrous, if you take you eyes off the road or are distracted, even for a split second, because of your mobile phone."

Road figures make 'grim reading'
25 Apr 07 |  South of Scotland
Driver phone attitude 'shocking'
07 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Mobile crackdown targets drivers
16 Oct 05 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific