ROADPOL Catches 40 000
Using Phone Behind Wheel
10 NOV - 39.504 drivers were found using hand-held mobile devices while driving during ROADPOL's latest enforcement action across Europe.
Тhe operation under the Focus On The Road stamp was carried out in October by members of the European Roads Policing Network and targeted prohibited use of mobile phones, other technical devices and other forms of distraction.
The regulations about distraction in European countries vary, but in most of them using a mobile device without hands-free equipment while driving is forbidden. The police of the participating countries found 44.811 different types of violations.39.504 drivers used their mobile phone to call or text while driving without a hand-free equipment. 113 drivers used their device as a navigation system (also without hands-free equipment).
A number of 5.195 drivers were caught with other sources of distraction such watching TV or DVD, reading a newspaper or eating while driving. The latter is forbidden in Switzerland and Poland for the driver while transporting one or more passengers in the vehicle.
Data by all ROADPOL members clearly show that distraction in road traffic is a rapidly rising phenomenon and a growing cause of road collisions in recent years.
“In a short time distraction has become one of the most common causes of collisions, in some cases and countries even the most common. This is the reason why we continue the “Focus On The Road" operation and regard it as one of the most important on our enforcement calendar. And this is why in 2023 for the first time this operation is carried out separately and is no more coinciding with other campaigns such as ROADPOL Safety Days and the European Mobility Week as it did during the past years”, commented ROADPOL Operational Working Group chairman Chief Commissioner Jana Pelešková, a representative of the police of the Czech Republic. According to her, the numbers from the latest operation show how important road distraction controls are as there are clearly still too many drivers distracted by technical equipment instead of paying attention to the road and traffic around them.
During “Focus On The Road” operation police were also checking for seat belt offenses. 40.306 drivers and passengers did not use their seat belt. In several countries during the operation drivers were also checked on the use of alcohol and drugs. In the Netherlands this resulted in 422 drivers under the influence of only alcohol and 335 drivers under the influence of drugs with some cases in combination with alcohol.
The next ROADPOL operation “Truck & Bus” has just finished with results soon to be announced. Then December is the month traditionally planned for the “Alcohol & Drugs” operation.