A DRIVER has been disqualified for being on his mobile while driving in south Warwickshire.
Twenty eight-year-old Ashley Frank of Warren Drive, Hornchurch, Essex has been disqualified from driving for six months after being caught using a mobile phone while driving in Leamington on May 31 last year.
A member of the public spotted Mr Frank on his phone and submitted moving footage of the offence to Warwickshire Police via Op Snap. This was reviewed by a police officer and Mr Frank received a postal requisition summonsing him to Warwickshire Magistrates Court to face the charge.
Mr Franks already had points on his licence and when he received an additional six points for the mobile phone offence he was effectively disqualified. He was also fined £320, and ordered to pay £110 costs and a £34 victim surcharge as part of his sentence.
Although his guilty plea was taken into consideration, his argument of exceptional hardship was not accepted by the Magistrate.
Warwickshire Police said it hoped this sent a message to drivers that their behaviour is being monitored not only by the county’s police officers who are always on the lookout for drivers using mobile phones but by the public too.
Almost a third of Britain’s 40 million drivers – roughly 13 million people – say that handheld mobile phone use by other drivers is one of their top concerns according to the RAC 2020 Report on Motoring.
PC Ken Bratley said: “It’s really not worth the risk of using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving as this case proves. Instead, you could buy a handsfree kit but the safest and cheapest option is to put your phone away on silent with an answerphone message and to schedule regular stops in your journey to return any calls when you are safely parked.
“We would like to thank the member of the public who submitted this footage to Op Snap as they have contributed to making our roads safer for the majority of law abiding road users and this is to be commended.”
In 2021, officers attended three serious and one fatal collision where using a mobile phone while driving was a contributory factor.
More information about Op Snap can be found at www.warwickshire.police.uk/OperationSnap