Officers issue almost £5,000 worth of fines to motorists using mobile phone

Kent Police has issued almost £5,000 worth of fines for traffic offences on the M20 and other major roads in Kent ahead of a national week of action against mobile phone use by drivers.

Officers have used an unmarked lorry cab from Highways England for a five-day operation to identify drivers using mobile phones, tablets and other dangerous activities.

The operation ran from Monday 16 to Friday 20 January and more than 50 lorries, vans and cars were stopped.

One of the most shocking incidents officers witnessed was a lorry driver who drove 500 yards on the slip road from the M20 to the Channel tunnel (junction 11a), and not look up once from his phone screen.

Officers also dealt with four speeding cars including one travelling at 110mph ; a lorry driver caught reversing on the hard shoulder near to junction 11 of the M20 and a prohibited vehicle in lane three of the carriageway.

Officers have a clear view down other vehicles by using an unmarked lorry cab and this means offenders are not pre-warned about police enforcement.

Officers issued 28 Graduated Fixed Penalty Notices and 21 traffic offence reports, each one being £100 each, with a total of £4,900 which goes to HM Treasury.

The drive to target irresponsible and dangerous drivers and improve road safety continues this week as Kent Police is taking part in a national mobile phone enforcement campaign

It starts on Monday 23 January and runs until Sunday 29 January 2017 and will involve both roads policing officers and local patrol officers from across Kent.

There has been a rise nationally in the number of people making calls, texting and recording videos illegally when they should be paying attention to the road.

In response, the Government is introducing tougher new penalties which come into effect later this year which will result in drivers receiving six points on their license and a £200 fine.

Chief Inspector Tony Dyer from the Roads Policing Unit at Kent Police said:

‘With this targeted enforcement from last week and this week we’re hoping to raise awareness of the extremely irresponsible behaviour shown by some drivers who are putting their lives, and everybody else’s life at risk.

‘The targeted operation might only run until Sunday but, as they patrol the roads of Kent, my officers will continue to look out and deal with irresponsible and dangerous drivers 365 days a year.

‘The very simple and most important message for drivers to remember is: when at the wheel, your calls or texts can wait. Keep your eyes on the road.’

Highways England press officer Andrew Broughton said:

‘Safety is our top priority and I am pleased that our HGV cab has been so useful in helping the police to identify unsafe behaviour on the motorways and major A roads.

‘It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles – for example texting while driving.

‘Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with Kent Police to improve road safety in the region by influencing driver behaviour by this and other initiatives.’

 

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