Mobile Phone Drivers Caught in front of Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd attended an operation that caught 12 drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving in Hertford, as part of a District Day to East Hertfordshire.

Operation Drive Alive took place on London Road into Hertford yesterday morning, March 6th. This operation, which has run several times since last autumn has also been supported by local and national advertising campaigns around the dangers of using mobile telephones whilst driving. 

New mobile phone laws for using a phone whilst driving came into place at the beginning of March.

Drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now receive a fine of £200 and 6 penalty points on their licence. Motorists who have held their licenses for less than two years will be banned if caught using their device just once.

Following the operation, the Commissioner said: “I am disappointed to see that some motorists are still continuing to use their mobile phones whilst driving. Operations like this are important to remind people that if they continue to break the law, they will be caught.

There has been significant media coverage making drivers aware of the dire consequences their negligent actions can cause and if they continue to break the law – they must pay the penalty before they pay the price with their own lives or that of someone else.”

Sgt Martin May who led the operation added: “I can quite confidently say that a motorist’s reactions would be seriously affected if they were using their phone for any purpose behind the wheel.  Drivers that do so don’t have their full attention on the road and it is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs on this stretch of road.

I urge motorists to put their phones out of reach whilst driving. A moment’s distraction can have lasting consequences. All 12 of the drivers found using their phones were reported for the offence and will be dealt with by our process unit.”

As part of the day the Commissioner also met with a number local farm managers - Andrew Watts of Wallington Farms and Gordon Pace of Gilston Crop Management, who both took the opportunity to speak about the rural crime issues that are affecting the areas they are working in.

These crimes include criminal damage to emerging crops in fields caused by 4x4s, hare and deer coursing (sometimes up to 3-4 nights a week) and fly-tipping incidents, at least once a week in some places.

Volunteers amongst the farmers are proving to be an important link for the Police to share information to the community when these incidents occur.

Sgt Duncan Wallace of East Herts Police said: “Rural crime, particularly fly-tipping requires a multi-agency approach to deliver results.
Communication is absolutely essential as parties will deliver very little in isolation – only by working together will we deliver results.

Local farm volunteers also bring their own expertise to the partnership approach – they can assist in investigations and forge relationships with the local community.”