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Warning to drivers using mobiles ahead of harsher penalties

Greater Manchester Police is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving and spreading the word on tougher penalties.

Under new legislation expected to come into effect on March 1, motorists caught using a mobile while driving will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine – which is double the current punishment.

The new law could see drivers who break it having their licence revoked for a first offence under the New Driver Act, in the hope it will act as a deterrent for those breaking the law and other passengers sharing a car with them.

Inspector Tony Allt, of GMP’s Roads Policing Unit, explained how why they are supporting this latest campaign to get drivers off their phones.

“We continue to bring home the message that using a mobile phone while driving is not only illegal but should be considered socially unacceptable,” he said.

“As Chief Constable Hopkins said during our last campaign, you wouldn’t let someone who has been drinking get behind the wheel, why would you let someone use their mobile phone while driving?

“These laws are not just restricted to the traditional view of making a call with the phone held to your ear.

“Checking social media pages or glancing at a text that has just come through, in fact any form of communication, are equally dangerous and can severely compromise your attention to the road.

“We’ll have marked and unmarked patrols out this week to support the national campaign, stopping drivers and carrying out road side checks.

“Our message is clear, mobile phones are wrong for the road. Leave it alone until you’ve stopped driving.”

As well as increasing traffic operations, GMP officers will also be spreading the word on the new impending legislation and the dangers associated with using a mobile while driving as part of the #WrongForTheRoad campaign on social media.