ROADPOL Focus On the Road Operation:

46.000 Drivers Caught Phone-In-Hand

2Distraction gravely extends drivers reaction times. PHOTO: POLITIE.NLMore than 46 000 drivers caught using their smartphones behind the wheel.

The numbers came after final analysis of summarized data from ROADPOL’s latest pan-European “Focus On The Road” operation. It coincided with the ROADPOL Safety Days week and the European Mobility Week (16-22 September).


Distraction in road traffic has risen rapidly and in a short time it became one of the most common causes of collisions. Now that the measures related to Covid-19 have been considerably scaled back in most countries, ROADPOL and its members rely on more human resource which allowed for the “Focus On The Road” to be resumed”, informs ROADPOL Operational Working Group Secretary Henk Jansen of the National Police of the Netherlands.


17 countries participated in the operation and checked for the prohibited use of mobile phones, other technical devices and other forms of distraction. The regulations in countries across the European region are different, but in most of them using a mobile phone without hand-free equipment while driving is forbidden. The police forces of the participating countries checked over 1.625.000 road users at more than 47.500 control spots with 420.075 different types of violations found.

henkHenk JansenResults

46.261 drivers used their mobile phone to call or text while driving without a hand-free equipment. 171 drivers used their device as a navigation system while holding it in hand. 14.124 drivers were caught under distraction by other source among which: watching TV/DVD, reading a newspaper or eating while driving (the latter is forbidden for drivers in Switzerland and Poland while having passengers in the vehicle). “These numbers clearly show how important distraction controls are, as there are too many drivers distracted by technical equipment instead of paying attention to the road. Let it be clear that overestimation of one's own driving ability and the wrong assessment of traffic situations are often the reason for serious traffic accidents. Distraction gravely extends reaction times”, Jansen explains.


During the operation accompanying check were also made. In 57.643 cases driver or passenger didn’t use their seatbelt. Police also looked at other forms of crime. This resulted in 240 cases of drugs and 14 cases of firearms being found in the vehicle. 167 wanted persons were also caught during the operation.

The next ROADPOL operation, Alcohol&Drugs is to be carried out from 6th to 12st December 2021.