North Yorkshire Police spot more than 200 traffic offences in just five hours in Harrogate

Last week, officers from North Yorkshire Police's Roads Policing Group and local neighbourhood policing teams worked together with safety camera vehicles to target distracted drivers in Harrogate.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:50 pm

Between 11am and 4pm on Friday, March 25, 222 traffic offences were identified during the safety operation.

The offences included excess speeding and mobile phone usage.

Traffic Constable Mark Hutchings, from the Road Safety Team, said: “Our ultimate aim is to reduce casualties and make our roads safer for all users.

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North Yorkshire Police spotted 222 traffic offences in just five hours during a safety operation in Harrogate last week

“Officers targeted drivers on Friday, the day when the new mobile phone legislation came into effect, in an effort to make sure motorists take note of these important changes and abide by the new law.

“We will continue to undertake targeted activity such as this across the county as part of Operation Boundary - North Yorkshire Police’s dedicated road safety and enforcement operation.

“We’ll be on the look-out for road users across the county who take risks - risks that can, and do, cost lives.”

Laws around mobile phone usage came into force on Friday, March 25.

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device while driving.

The changes now mean that it's an offence to use a mobile phone (or any other mobile device such as a tablet) when driving for:

- Checking the time

- Checking notifications

- Unlocking the device

- Illuminating the screen

- Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet-based call

- Sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content

- Sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video

- Utilising camera, video, or sound recording functionality

- Drafting any text

- Accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages

- Accessing an application

- Accessing the internet

North Yorkshire Police said: "This will mean that anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and six points on their licence.

"The Government says that drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle.

"You can also still use your touch screen built-in entertainment system in your car without facing prosecution."