Police in Wales have initiated a crackdown on drivers who are using their phones for calls or texting while driving. The increased watch for this type of behaviour is intended to go on until early October, and it is hoped that it will make using the phone in the car socially unacceptable, much in the same way drink driving is.
Newport students created a video in 2009 that was intended to encourage people to stop using phones in the car. It showed a teenager crashing a car and killing four people because they were texting. The film became an internet hit and is believed to have sparked the police crackdown.
Statistics show that when you are using a phone in your car you are four times more likely to have a crash. Currently the law says that those using a phone will be fined £60 and given three points on their licence. It seems though that this is not enough of a deterrent because people are still using their phones.
Chief Constable Arundale has said, “We want to see the use of a mobile phone in the car become a much more serious offence. We want a zero tolerance approach and those who are caught doing it should be prosecuted.”
Chairwoman of the Road Safety Wales group is Sue Storch and she has said that the film has become a useful tool in discouraging people from using their mobile phones in the car. She commented, “We are showing the video in schools so that young people know the dangers early on. It is a very strong way to get the message across about the dangers of driving while distracted.” The video, which is called ‘Cow’, was viewed by six million people internationally in its first few weeks.