Six people have been issued with a £200 fine and six points on their licence after they were caught using their mobile phone at the wheel during a police operation.
Last week, on Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3, police Safer Neighbourhood officers teamed up with partnership agencies to target offences such as using a mobile phone whilst driving, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving with vehicle defects.
The team were joined by special constables, the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST), Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA), and HM Revenue and Customs to carry out the checks at locations across the Derbyshire Dales.
On Thursday, March 2, the policing team carried out the Operation Safedrive along Main Road in Hulland Ward and the A6 through Matlock Bath.
Seventeen motorists were stopped and a mixture of fixed penalty notices and warnings were handed out. This included one motorist for speeding, three for not wearing a seatbelt, and others for driving without a valid MOT, lighting, registration plate and tyre defects.
Two motorists were also found to be using their mobile phone at the wheel and were given six penalty points on their licence and a £200 fine. The increased penalties came in to action on March 1 to help slash the number of motorists who use their phones whilst driving.
The following day, more than 40 motorists were stopped as part of the Operation Safedrive initiative on Dale Road in Matlock, with six being handed a fine and penalty points after being on their mobile phone.
Five motorists were dealt with for not wearing a seatbelt, two for driving without a valid MOT, and one motorist for driving without insurance. Nine motorists were also spoken to about a range of vehicle defect offences, including problems with their tyres and registration plates.
Five vehicles were deemed too dangerous to be on the road and will be dealt with by VOSA. Action will need to be taken by the owners to ensure that the vehicles are made road safe and legal.
Sergeant Andy Wordsworth, who oversees Safer Neighbourhood policing in the Derbyshire Dales, said: “There are no excuses for using your mobile phone at the wheel. By taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. It’s not worth it.
“It is concerning to see that so many drivers were stopped for not wearing a seatbelt or driving with motor defects, such as illegal tyres. Drivers who are breaking the rules may think they will get away with it, but they will face hefty penalties and fines if they are found to be committing a crime.
“I hope that these results send a clear message to other drivers to make sure their vehicle is road legal before they venture out.”
Operation Safedrive is an on-going Derbyshire police campaign to educate motorists about responsible driving and make roads across the county safer.