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Concerned runner welcomes new driving on phone punishments   

 Published on: 22nd April 2019   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Rickmansworth runner has welcomed Hertfordshire Road Policing’s latest crackdown on drivers using their phones.

Herts Road Policing has joined the national police campaign targeting those who use a mobile phone while driving, as over 700 drivers in Hertfordshire were caught using their phones behind the wheel last year.

Rose Goodchild, member of running club, Ricky Running Sisters (RRS), welcomed the campaign.

She said: “You see a lot of drivers using their phones in Rickmansworth – I saw a van driver yesterday checking his phone while driving and it shocks me.

“Obviously as part of a running club, I’m often a pedestrian and we do notice a lot of drivers on their phones as we go around the area. It’s especially noticeable as you approach pedestrian crossings because a lot of drivers are distracted and not looking properly.

“You want them to be aware – especially when you know so many runners who are always crossing roads.”

If you’re caught using a hand-held device while driving or riding, you will get an automatic Fixed Penalty Notice, which means six points on your licence and a fine of £200.

As well as the Fixed Penalty Notice, your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000, or £2,500 if you’re driving a lorry or bus.

Rose said enforcement of the punishments could make a big difference.

She added: “It’s a good deterrent and I hope people are made aware of it through hearing about it, rather than them having to be punished to get the message.”

Rosa Maniscalco from the Rickmansworth Society said: “The current laws haven’t made too much difference as you see drivers on their phones all the time. 

“If they enforce the punishments more hopefully that will stop people doing it – but I think those drivers will only stop when they are caught and it affects them.” 

Sergeant Ian Manley from the BCH RPU said: “There are serious and sometimes fatal consequences of using your phone whilst behind the wheel. I would ask all drivers to consider, is it really worth it? The answer is of course no so please turn your phone off, on do not disturb or put it where you won’t be distracted by it or be tempted to pick it up.”

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