Video: Which type of distracted driver are you?
THE number of people using mobile phones while driving is on the increase in Hertfordshire, according to a new study. On some days in May and June, road safety officers from the county council were out at rush hour in nine towns – including Stevenage and
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THE number of people using mobile phones while driving is on the increase in Hertfordshire, according to a new study.
On some days in May and June, road safety officers from the county council were out at rush hour in nine towns - including Stevenage and Letchworth GC - keeping an eye out for distracted drivers.
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• 236 people on hand-held mobile phones
• 81 people texting
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• 44 people drinking hot drinks
• 60 people eating breakfast
• 32 people reading
The results from 2008 were:
• 194 people on hand-held mobile phones
• 34 people texting
• 37 people drinking hot drinks
• 53 people eating breakfast
• 34 people reading
There were also numerous other distracted drivers including people rummaging in handbags and the glove compartment, and even people shaving, applying make up and opening their morning post.
In 2008/09 the police charged over 3,600 people in Hertfordshire with distraction driving-related offences.
Chief Inspector Donna Pierce of the strategic roads policing unit said: "Road safety is a priority for Hertfordshire Constabulary and we will take robust action against those people who are distracted behind the wheel of a vehicle and are not giving the road their full attention.
"Driving while using a mobile phone or putting make up on, for example, is extremely dangerous. By not focusing on driving, it is harder to react to other road users and respond quickly enough.
"How would you feel if your actions contributed to a serious injury or death of someone else? Is it worth losing your job, partner, home and the possibility of imprisonment?
"We carry out proactive patrols across the county in order to ensure the safety of all motorists, passengers and pedestrians and we will continue to work with our partners, including Hertfordshire County Council, to reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed on our roads."
Stuart Pile, county council executive member for highways and transport, said: "It's worrying to think that, for some people, a phone call or replying to a text message or email is more important than avoiding an accident.
"Our cars are not cafes, offices or bathrooms. Driving is already a complex task - please don't make it more complicated.