Police call to challenge 'mobile drivers'
8 February 2010, 07:54 | Updated: 8 February 2010, 12:51
Thames Valley Police want us to challenge people we see using mobiles at the wheel after an increase in people doing it in the region.
More than six thousand people have been fined £60 and given three points on their licence in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire since April 2009.
Police say the problem is now almost as bad as it was before the penalties were toughened up. Before February 2007, you could only stand to be fined £30 without the threat of any penalty points.
Drivers who refuse to pay the current £60 fine can end up paying as much as £1000 if the case goes to court, and will still receive three points on their licence. Lorry drivers can be fined up to £2500.
Thames Valley Roads Policing PC Mark Pilling has been telling Heart: "If you are in a car and your mate is using the phone while driving, you need to challenge that. Say to them, that isn't on, it's against the law but it's stupid as well. You're not only putting yourself at risk, you're putting me at risk in the passenger seat."
Number of fines issued in Thames Valley for mobile phone use while driving
1 Dec 2003: £30 fine introduced
Apr 2004 - Mar 2005: 4497
Apr 2005 - Mar 2006: 8458
Apr 2006 - Mar 2007: 8577
27 Feb 2007: Penalty increased to £60 fine and 3 penalty points
Apr 2007 - Mar 2008: 6204
Apr 2008 - Mar 2009: 7023
Apr 2009 - end Jan 2010: 6331