Phoning and driving cases have doubled

MORE than one in every 10 drivers are risking lives by using their mobile phones while at the wheel.

That is according to Calderdale Council’s road safety team who want to tackle the number of people committing the dangerous offence.

In 2006, roadside counts showed five in every 100 drivers were using their phone while at the wheel.

By 2010 the practice had more than doubled to 12 out of every 100 drivers.

The road safety team are warning that pedestrians using their phones while crossing roads can also be endangering themselves and others.

Posters aimed at getting people to think before they dial are being plastered on buses, petrol pumps and bus shelters across Calderdale.

Kate Marsh, Calderdale Council’s deputy road safety officer, said: “For those driving at 30mph, for every second they take their eyes off the road their car will travel around 44 ft.

“So imagine how many seconds a driver is distracted when tapping out a text message.

“Drivers are not the only group putting themselves at risk while using a mobile – how many times do you see pedestrians oblivious to the road while they chat or text?

“Pedestrians cannot ignore the fact that they are also responsible for preventing injury to both themselves and other road users. Using an excuse of being distracted by a mobile or MP3 player is no defence when either they or other road users are injured because of it.

“Making people aware of the part modern technologies can play in causing road injury is particularly important in today’s ever increasing techno age, especially as the availability of these types of devices and their popularity continues to grow.”

How do you think we should punish people guilty of using their mobile phones while driving? E-mail your thoughts to yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk

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