42 motorists caught using mobile phones while driving in police crackdown

Police say they will continue to target people using mobiles while driving.
Police say they will continue to target people using mobiles while driving.

Dozens of motorists were caught using their mobiles while driving during a week-long police campaign.

Forty two drivers were caught using their mobile phones while at the wheel under their ‘Operation Ringtone’ campaign.

Police across Cleveland and Durham carried out ‘Operation Ringtone’ as part of a national a clampdown on drivers using their mobile phones from September 17.

Drivers using a phone while at the wheel now receive six points and a £200 fine.

Inspector Jonathan Malcolm, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “It is always disappointing to find that anyone has risked their life and the lives of other innocent road users.

"Whether drivers are making calls, texting or going online, the risk is all the same, and the chance of a collision is 25 times higher.

“We will continue these operations to identify offenders and we will educate wherever we can.

"Being distracted at the wheel is one of the four main contributory factors in fatal or serious road traffic collisions and it is an unnecessary risk to take.”

It comes after a police launched their second outing of ‘Operation Basingstoke’ which resulted in multiple vehicles being taken off the roads, and drivers reported for various offences.
Throughout the operation, on Saturday, September 29, two roadside checkpoints were operated on the A689, manned by officers from Durham and Cleveland Special Constabularies.

Three vehicles were seized, as well as 11 VDRS issued for vehicle defects, 5 fixed penalty notices issued and one driver reported for multiple offences. Three drivers were also issued fixed penalty notices for not wearing a seatbelt.

Police said one notable offence was a dangerously worn set of tyres, fitted to an uninsured and untaxed vehicle carrying two unsecured children.