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A police clampdown on mobile phone use while driving has netted nearly 200 offenders in the Midlands, including 29 HGV drivers. The two-week programme ran between September 22 and October 5 (2014). Teams from the Central Motorway Police Group took to motorways and A-roads using a fleet of marked and unmarked vehicles along with an HGV they used to get a good look inside vehicle windows.

News reports say that 182 drivers were observed using mobile phones while operating their vehicles. One driver was a coach operator with 40 passengers on board, while another was a middle-aged woman who was found to be driving without insurance. As previously mentioned, 29 HGV drivers were among those cited during the two-week clampdown.

Police officials say that accidents resulting from mobile phone use will be the single greatest contributor to highway deaths in the UK by the end of next year. They also say that drivers are not getting the message about how dangerous it is to use a mobile phone while driving. In response, the police have promised to keep up the enforcement efforts until the message is heard loudly and clearly.

During this latest round, offenders were given either a £100 fine and three points or the opportunity to attend a training course emphasising the law and the dangers of distracted driving. However, there is no telling how long such leniency will last. If large numbers of people continue to disregard the law, more severe penalties may have to be instituted. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Safety First for HGV Drivers

At the HGV training centre, we are never happy to hear about people being cited for using a mobile phone while driving. It is dangerous regardless of who is doing it. Nevertheless, we are especially disheartened when we hear about professional HGV drivers and coach operators being among the offenders. Safety should always be the first priority for the professional driver, regardless of the class of vehicle being driven.

Large commercial vehicles are inherently more dangerous on the roads for two reasons. First, they are more difficult to control (it’s worse in bad weather) and they require greater distances to safely stop. Second, their size and weight mean their destructive power is exponentially greater than a passenger vehicle during a crash. PCV and HGV drivers know this, which is why it is so disconcerting to see that there are still those careless enough to use mobile phones while driving.

We do our best to instil a safety first mindset in all of the drivers who go through our training classes. Obviously, what they do after graduation is outside of our control. Nonetheless, we hope our students understand the importance of safety and never forget the lessons they learned during their training.

If you would like more information about our training programmes, please call us or contact us through this website. The HGV Training Centre would be happy to provide the training you need.

 

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