MOBILE phone using young drivers are the target of a new billboard campaign across Warwickshire.
Warwickshire Police and road safety project The Honest Truth have produced striking animal head posters in a bid to challenge the behaviours of younger drivers around their use of mobile phones
While many younger drivers know using a hand held mobile phone or sat nav while driving or riding a motorbike is illegal, many still do it
Insp Jem Mountford said: “Even using a hands-free mobile phone or sat nav while driving is a huge distraction, and any distraction greatly increases the risk of being involved in a collision. You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times.
“Officers use their judgement and if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted they can stop you and you can be prosecuted.
“That’s not all though, you could be back to L-plates if officers stop you within two years of passing your test. The law still applies to you if you’re stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, or supervising a learner driver.
“It’s not just mobile phones that can distract you, changing the channel on the radio, chatting to a passenger, and having children in the car can all hinder your concentration when driving.”
Those who cannot resist checking their phone are urged to put it out of sight in a bag or glove box when driving.
Dr Gemma Briggs, senior lecturer in psychology at The Open University, explained: “If you’re distracted by your phone while driving your driving performance is significantly diminished to the extent that you are four times more likely to crash.
“You’re far less likely to notice hazards and will take much longer to react to any hazards you do see. This applies equally to hands-free phone use as hand-held use, meaning having two hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road isn’t enough if your mind is elsewhere.
“Drivers don’t have ’spare’ attention to apply to other tasks – that’s simply not how our brains work.”