Police clamp down on mobile phone use by drivers
Published 13 Sep 2012 11:30 9 Comments
POLICE in Scotland and the country's Traffic Commissioner are to join forces to clamp down on the use of mobile phones by bus and lorry drivers.
A clear link has been established between the use of mobile phones and other communication devices whilst driving and serious road crashes which cause serious injury or even death on our roads and is therefore against the law.
Fife's Deputy Chief Constable, Tom Ewing (pictured), for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland and the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland Joan Aitken have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
This formalises the process of Scottish police forces notifying the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland of details of mobile phone offences committed by drivers of Large Goods Vehicles and Passenger Carrying Vehicles.
Scottish police forces will forward written notification at the time of the offence to the Traffic Commissioner.
The written notification will include:
• Conditional Offer Number.
• Driver's name, address and date of birth.
• Date and time of the offence.
• Location of the offence.
• Offence committed.
The offences currently covered by the MOU are:
• Use of hand-held mobile phone or device while driving-
• Use of hand-held mobile phone or device while supervising a learner driver-
• Not in proper control of a vehicle or having full a view ahead (This offence relates to drivers' actions and can also be applied to use of a hands-free device where there is evidence that the driver does not have proper control of the vehicle).
With this notification, the Traffic Commissioner will give consideration to further action against the driver and/or the company which may include the suspension of a LGV or PCV licence.
DCC Ewing, of Fife Constabulary, who speaks on road policing for ACPOS, said, "The drivers of buses and lorries carry a huge responsibility to their companies and to other road users as they go about their daily business.
"The majority of these drivers are aware of these responsibilities and behave responsibly.
"The use of communication devices such as mobile phones is distracting and dangerous and the consequences of professional drivers carrying passengers or large loads losing concentration could be catastrophic.
"We are determined to clamp down on such use and welcome the support of the Traffic Commissioner and two industry leaders."
Miss Aitken, Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, said, "Using a mobile phone - whether to take or make a call or text - is a road safety risk.
"Too many road traffic accidents are happening because the driver was on a phone call or checking texts. With professional drivers the risks can be greater given the weight of the vehicles and their loadings.
"Police officers can issue a financial penalty. My powers are different. I can suspend a driver's licence entitlement to drive his or her lorry or bus. For some drivers this will mean they lose their job and how they support their families. It is that serious."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 13, 12:05
Sep 13, 12:21
How bizzare is this, the fact I am positive I recall from recent memory, was reported in one of tabloids, following an accident involving two cars in Fife and in icy conditions last winter, there was a fingertip search for a mobile phone belonging to a driver of one of the vehicles involved.
Recommend? Yes 15 No 25
Sep 13, 13:17
I don't think most people know this is actually illegal as they still do it, i see it all the time. These people think they're above the law. It's about time they were cracking down on it, sick fed up of idiots on phones while driving.
Recommend? Yes 16 No 1
Sep 13, 14:52
Would that driver be the very same Chief Constable of Fife constabulary, who was allowed to retire early on full lump sum & a fat pension prior to her case going to court, in order to save the force some serious embarrassment and her a disciplinary code of conduct charge???
Really shocking that this has been allowed to happen, and predictably hypocritical of Fife constabulary.
Recommend? Yes 21 No 25
Sep 13, 19:16
about time too!..and I am crticised for wanting to uphold the law?!....where are u now analsmith?...U said I must be police officer because of my comments...and u suggest u might be the same...no I will not go further...let's see ur comments?
Recommend? Yes 3 No 23
Sep 14, 13:44
They should target everyone, not just bus and lorry drivers. Maybe they could have a system whereby these offenders can be reported by members of the public without the need for on the spot corroboration. You might find that a number of people independently report the same individual(s) and something can be done.
I see a good half dozen everyday when i'm out on the road. It's not just young men either. It's both sexes, as well as young and old. It's stupid, dangerous and illegal.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 1
Sep 14, 19:38
Long past time. It's a law that has come into disrepute because the police simply do nothing about it. Many cars and every other white van I see is on the phone. Why don't the police don't just use cameras supported by phone records to catch them?
Recommend? Yes 5 No 0
Sep 15, 11:48
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Sep 16, 02:23
I still see drivers using their phones but i have to say that i see more actually pulling in somewhere to use their phones. Small minority in my experience still driving while using phones but yeah they need to learn. I don't want to feel the bonnet of their car on my butt when they ain't payin attention!
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Sep 16, 16:17
Sep 17, 05:17
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