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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007, 09:27 GMT
Drivers warned over mobile phones
Driver using mobile phone
Police said 1,000 drivers a month were being caught
Almost 10,000 fines have been handed out to drivers using mobile phones since tougher penalties were introduced in February, figures show.

A total of 9,574 fixed penalty notices were given out by five of Scotland's police forces between February and the end of October this year.

That equates to more than 1,000 people a month being penalised with a 60 fine and three points on their licence.

Police said the figures should be a warning to drivers.

Freedom of information

Tayside Police chief constable John Vine, the country's road policing chief, vowed that those continuing to flout the law "will be caught".

The country's largest force, Strathclyde, handed out 5,043 fines to people caught using hand held phones between February and October.

Lothian and Borders gave out 2,052, Tayside 1,056, Central Scotland Police 1,037 and Fife 386.

The figures were obtained under a Freedom of Information request, with data not yet available from the other forces.

The legislation exists for a very good reason - driving while using a mobile phone is dangerous
John Vine
Tayside Police

From 27 February, the maximum fixed penalty fine doubled to 60, with drivers also facing three points being added to their licence.

Motorists previously faced just being handed a 30 fine.

Mr Vine said: "I do not accept that people are oblivious to the law in this area.

"It is common knowledge that you must not use a mobile phone, so when we trace offenders we can only assume that they either didn't expect to be caught or didn't care.

"The legislation exists for a very good reason - driving while using a mobile phone is dangerous."

SEE ALSO
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

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