The Chief Constable of Sussex Police has spoken out on the law change for motorists caught on their mobiles, which has come into force today (March 1).
At a press conference at the Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes this morning, Giles York labelled the law change as a ‘landmark event’.
From today, drivers caught will now face a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence – double the previous consequences of £100 and three points – which means a new driver could lose their licence instantly.
The law change was a result of a Government consultation with the public.
The Chief Constable said: “Today is a landmark event in really increasing the penalties for driving offences – particulary around distraction.
“I take this exceptionally seriously because right across Sussex I believe we still have too many crashes that are causing injuries and causing death to the people on our roads across Sussex.
“I have been quoted saying I am tired of roads policing – I’d like to think that is a misquote – I didn’t say I was tired of roads policing, what I said was – I am tired of people being injured or killed on our roads – and actually it is quite the opposite.”
After the press conference, the Chief Constable went out on patrol in Brighton with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) and other officers.
Within an hour, the team issued their first ticket.
SSRP has been running a campaign since January entitled It Can Wait, which stresses that nothing is as important as focussing on driving, and whatever someone’s phone is doing, their main concern should be getting to their destination in one piece.
The Chief Constable added that he was ‘really enthused’ and ‘excited’ about doing more around roads policing across Sussex.
He said: “We have a fabulous track record here of being on groundbreaking initiatives – such as Operation Crackdown. A place where the public can report low-level nuisance driving right up to very serious offences such as drink driving.”
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