Dangerous drivers caught watching TV on their phones behind the …

Cops are becoming increasingly concerned about the growing trend of reckless drivers watching TV or films while at the wheel. This includes motorists who have been spotted hurtling along the motorway at high speeds while having their phone or other device hooked up and playing TV programmes.

And analysis by BirminghamLive has highlighted how drivers have been caught out behaving dangerously in the West Midlands in recent years. The issue has been brought into focus after a covert operation by Warwickshire Police spotted[1] several drivers watching their phones rather than paying full attention to the road.

It’s possible some of the drivers could have come from or been travelling towards West Midlands motorways. The dangers of watching a phone while driving at high speed are clear and police chiefs say anyone who does it potentially putting lives at risk.

West Midlands Police[3] data showed 29 motorists were punished[4] for “using a vehicle on a road when television/cinematographic apparatus was visible to the driver” between 2018 and March 2021. More were likely caught in the two years since.

And it appears to be an increasing trend, with four caught in 2018, followed by 11 in 2019 and 14 in 2020. Nearly all hand-held use of a mobile phone while driving on Britain’s roads was made illegal in March last year.

Officers have warned of the need for motorists to keep their “full attention” on the road. Sergeant Shaun Bridle, from Warwickshire Police, said: “When driving, it is essential to keep your full attention on the road because your safety, the safety of your passengers and the safety of other road users is far more important than a film or text.

“It is totally unacceptable to watch a film or programme whilst driving or to interact in any way with a hand-held mobile phone.” Four drivers were caught during a phase of Operation Tramline in Warwickshire between February 20 and March 12.

The covert op involves cops hitting the roads in HGV cabs so they can film drivers from an elevated position, out of view of unassuming motorists. A further 39 drivers were stopped and issued with traffic offence reports for using a hand-held phone.

This included the driver of a school bus with pupils onboard. The offenders face a £200 fine and six penalty points.

Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and chair of the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “It’s disappointing to see so many drivers placing others at risk by using their mobile phones while driving, whether by making calls or, even more alarmingly, by watching videos while behind the wheel.

“This can never be acceptable and demonstrates why as a partnership we are putting so much emphasis on changing general attitudes to driving.”

How long families are forced to wait for council housing in the West Midlands – and it’s a long time[5]

Mum of Birmingham ‘danger tourist’ detained by Taliban says he went to Afghanistan to ‘find himself’[6]

Birmingham Wilko store evacuated after man seriously hurt in ‘incident’[7]

Growing anger as car cannibals strip another vehicle in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter[8]

First picture of drug dealer Hossien Tahmasebi who fled to Iran and spent six years on the run[9]

References

  1. ^ spotted (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Dozens of motorists caught driving wrong way up the motorway (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ West Midlands Police (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ punished (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  5. ^ How long families are forced to wait for council housing in the West Midlands – and it’s a long time (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  6. ^ Mum of Birmingham ‘danger tourist’ detained by Taliban says he went to Afghanistan to ‘find himself’ (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  7. ^ Birmingham Wilko store evacuated after man seriously hurt in ‘incident’ (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  8. ^ Growing anger as car cannibals strip another vehicle in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  9. ^ First picture of drug dealer Hossien Tahmasebi who fled to Iran and spent six years on the run (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

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