In a short period of time, distraction in road traffic has become one of the most common causes of accidents in recent years. This is why ROADPOL resumed the operation “Focus on the Road" this year.
In the spring of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic all pan-European controls initiated by ROADPOL were suspended. Traffic checks did not have priority and polices forces were required in different areas.
At the start of the ROADPOL Safety Days and the European Mobility Week, there was some capacity to resume traffic controls. Members started with the controlling of distraction, but unfortunately not all members succeeded in conducting controls".
From 14 to 20 September, 13 countries participated in this operation and checked road users for the prohibited use of mobile phones, other technical devices as well as other forms of distractions.
Although the regulations are different in European countries, in most of them the use of mobile phones without hand-free equipment while driving is forbidden.
The police of the participating countries checked over 41200 road users at more ten 36000 control spots for which there were 71618 different types of violations were found.
14563 drivers used their mobile phones to call or text while driving without a hand-free equipment.
275 drivers used their devices as a navigation system (without hands-free equipment).
14536 drivers were caught by watching TV or DVDs, reading a newspaper or eating while driving (forbidden in Switzerland and Poland as a driver during the transport of people).
These numbers clearly show how important road safety and distraction controls are, as there are still too many drivers distracted by technical equipment instead of paying attention to the road.
The overestimation of one's own driving ability and the wrong assessment of traffic situations are often the reason for serious traffic accidents.
During “Focus on the road” police checked whether drivers and passengers were wearing seatbelts too. 25616 persons didn’t use their seatbelt, which is obviously still a huge safety problem.