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Police in Hampshire and Thames Valley introduce new technology

Picture credited to Hampshire Police and Thames Valley Police

Hampshire and Thames Valley Police's Joint Roads Policing Unit has become one of the first forces in the country to introduce new technology, which could save lives.

The kit spots when a mobile is being used and flashes up a warning on a signpost, to alert motorists.

The detector will be located on the A34 in Oxfordshire but will be posted at different locations throughout the Thames Valley and Hampshire, in order to assist officers in enforcing the law around using mobile phones whilst driving.

A campaign video's also been released by Police to raise awareness of the dangers of using your mobile whilst driving.

It features Kate Goldsmith, who lost her daughter Aimee in a crash in 2016.

She died in a crash which involved a lorry driver, who'd been using his phone to change music whilst driving - and Kate says the problem needs urgent action.

Kate said:

“I am supporting this campaign and welcome any technology which can assist in educating people and stop them from using their mobile phones whilst driving. 

“Most mothers’ look forward to planning their daughter’s weddings. I had to plan Aimee’s funeral.

“My son Jake was travelling in the car behind the one that Aimee was travelling in, thankfully he was uninjured, but he literally saw the moment that killed his sister.

“Please take a minute to just think about that. Seeing your sister, brother, daughter, son or any person you love being killed.

“This was down to someone being distracted by their phone whilst driving a lethal weapon. My daughter’s death was completely avoidable.

“Please don’t use your mobile phone whilst driving it’s not worth the risk.”

PC Liz Johnson, a Roads Safety Officer for the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit, said:

“Research shows us that you are four times more likely to crash if you are using a mobile phone whilst driving, reaction times are around 50% slower than a driver not using a mobile phone.

“It is also apparent that you are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision when texting compared with drink driving.

“In the Thames Valley since 2014 there have been 83 people killed or seriously injured as a result of drivers using their mobile phones and 40 have been killed or seriously injured Hampshire.

“It is vital that people take notice and stop using their mobile phones whilst driving.

“The Joint Operations Unit will continue to educate people of the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving through our “It’s Not Worth The Risk” campaign and reduce the devastating impact it can have on people’s lives.

“We will be utilising the new technology from Westcotec to help inform our enforcement activity to find hotspots and also further educate motorists.

“Additionally, officers will be carrying out enforcement activity throughout next week. We will be utilising a bus in order to travel around locations in the Thames Valley and Hampshire to spot motorists breaking the law and using mobile phones.

“My advice would be to turn off your phone whilst driving, put it out of reach, out of view so that more innocent people don’t lose their lives. Remember It’s not worth the risk.”

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