UK car and automotive news and reviews

Police use CCTV to capture drivers on mobiles

The Police in Manchester are using Smart Cars with built in CCTV cameras mounted on 12ft masts to catch drivers using their mobile phones. The Smart Cars are parked at busy junctions are part of a pilot scheme to reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers and if successful could be rolled out across the whole of the UK.

Drivers on mobile phones targeted by Manchester Police pilot scheme using Smart Cars installed with CCTV cameras.

Drivers on mobile phones targeted by Manchester Police pilot scheme using Smart Cars installed with CCTV cameras.

Whilst you’ve got to applaud the attempt to increase the safety of the roads by enforcing the mobile phone law, it’s just a tiny stab in the dark compared to how widespread the problem is. If you drive any distance in the UK, you’ll see the majority of drivers ignoring the ban of mobile phones by drivers, if not being stuck behind one as they weave across the road. Members of my own family have had vehicles written off by careless drivers talking on their phones (the driver said he’d dropped his phone and it had slipped under his break pedal…) and more recently, I’ve sat behind the driver of a 5-series BMW as he swerved across the road because he was talking animatedly on his phone. There were three children in the back of the car happily waving to other drivers, none of whom were strapped in with seat belts either.

Drivers caught by the Smart Cars using their mobiles from the system will receive a letter, with many also receiving a £60 fine and three points on their license. I’d have thought a Police car, with actual officers sat in it would be more of a deterent and they could also check the state of the car and whether the vehicle it’s one of the estimated 6% of uninsured drivers on the roads. Sorry to sound like a Daily Mail reader, but once you’ve had a uninsured foreign national drive their car through your front garden causing thousands of pounds of damage (and then to receive a £35 fine), you begin to take an interest in these types of things.

Given the low cost of mobile phone hands free kits, there’s really no reason or better still – exercise some self control and don’t answer if you’re driving.

Driving with a mobile phone can be dangerous to you and other road users. Phone related car accidents are easily avoidable as long as you are sensible. If a phone has caused you a crash contact Irwin Mitchell RTA to find out if you can make a claim.

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