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North Wales Police puts focus on distracted driving

Using the message, “Switch off before you drive off”, officers from the specialist unit have teamed up with colleagues from across the force to run the campaign targeting people who use their mobile phones whilst driving.

As well as imposing penalties on drivers who are caught, dedicated officers have also been using the campaign, which is now nearing an end, as an opportunity to educate motorists of the dangers of distraction driving – not just texting but also responding to emails, social networking, inputting navigational data or using other applications.

Sergeant Alun Davies from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Drivers who divide their attention because they’re on the phone or otherwise distracted are significantly increasing their risk of causing a crash.”

“Driving is a highly unpredictable and risky activity, it requires full concentration at all times. Distractions can include eating and drinking, smoking, music players and radios, sat navs and in-vehicle technology.”

“Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the "Fatal 5"; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.

“With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.