Derbyshire drivers urged to switch off before setting off

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SWITCH your phone off before you drive off – is the message from Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership after a survey revealed nearly 30 per cent of drivers text while on the road.

The research carried out by road safety charity Brake in association with insurance company Direct Line also revealed that nine per cent of drivers surf the net, send emails, uses apps or visit social networking sites when at the wheel.

Mike Ashworth, the chairman of Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “Mobile phone technology allows people to keep in touch while doing other things – lots of people use it to send messages while watching TV or waiting in a queue.

“Sadly some people are putting lives at risk because think it’s alright to multi-task in the car. Please switch off before you drive off if you can’t resist the temptation to check your phone when you’re at the wheel.”

It is illegal to drive while using a hand-held mobile phone, smartphone or palm-top computer and while using any kind of electronic device to access the internet or to send or receive messages or images.

Drivers who are caught will receive a fixed penalty notice and three points on their licence. In some cases motorists will have to go to court and could face a driving ban and a fine of up to £1,000.