Hundreds of drivers caught using phones while driving in Bedfordshire in first year of harsher penalties

Beds Police has caught hundreds of drivers in the act
Beds Police has caught hundreds of drivers in the act

Nearly 500 drivers have been hit by harsher punishments for using mobile phones while driving - in the first year new stricter penalties have been in place.

More than 480 motorists have been caught in Bedfordshire using a handheld mobile phone while driving in the first year since the harsher penalties came into force.

On March 1, 2017, the penalties for this offence doubled from £100 and three penalty points to £200 and six points.

On Monday, a man was convicted at Stevenage Magistrates Court of using a mobile phone whilst driving and given six penalty points on his license and more than £1,000 in fines and costs.

The incident took place at the scene of a serious road collision on the M25, where a man was being extracted from a vehicle by firefighters.

The man, from Aberford Road, Borehamwood, driving a Audi A4 convertible, slowed down in order to film the incident on his mobile phone as he passed.

Officers at the scene shouted for him to put his phone down, prompting the man to drop his phone and speed away.

Sergeant Andy Spencer, from the Beds, Cambs, Herts Road Policing Unit said: “Using a phone behind the wheel is proven to be dangerous, so it is reassuring to see penalties like this handed out to deter others from acting as irresponsibly in the future.

“Fortunately, we were able to identify the man involved in this incident, as one of the cars at the scene picked up his number plate with Automatic Number Plate Recognition.”