Know the law warn police as part of driving safety campaign

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Police are urging motorists to know the law surrounding mobile phone use at the wheel and the consequences of breaking it.

Those caught using a mobile phone while driving will be given three penalty points on their licence and a fine of £100.

This can result in higher insurance costs and those that receive six points in the first two years after passing their test, will lose their licence.

The warning comes as part of a month-long Think campaign focusing on mobile phones.

Throughout July, the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit will be out looking for motorists breaking the law.

Insp Mark Rogers said: “It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone when driving. This includes using your mobile phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media and applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.

“You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.

“Getting a fine and points on your licence must be declared immediately to your insurer and can lead to an increase in your premium.

“It’s also important to remember that if you’re caught driving carelessly or dangerously when using a handheld or hands-free, the penalty can include disqualification, a large fine and up to two years’ imprisonment.”

Studies have shown that drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.

A hands-free phone can be used but motorists can still be prosecuted if they are not in proper control of their vehicle and the penalties are same as being caught using a handheld phone.

In 2014, more than 6,425 people were issued with tickets for driving while using a mobile phone across the three counties – 989 in Beds, 2,415 in Cambs and 3,021 in Herts.