England

Driving using mobiles fines halved by West Mercia Police

The number of fines or cautions handed out by West Mercia Police to motorists caught using their mobile phones has more than halved since 2008.

More than 4,800 were caught four years ago compared to under 2,400 last year. The figure so far is over 1,850.

A force spokesperson said the figures had not been analysed in depth so it was difficult to attribute the decline to "any particular reason".

He added that the force continued to take the issue seriously.

'Hands free'

The force said: "We would point out that officers can also use their discretion when dealing with a driver, do not always give out a fine and can choose to pass on word of advice if they believe it is appropriate."

The road safety manager for RoSPA, Duncan Vernon, said the reduction could indicate "more people are using hands free".

"There's a point about hands free that they're just as dangerous as a hand held mobile phone.

"It's the actual act of having a conversation with someone who's not in the car with you that causes the distraction.

"That's what interferes with your driving and means you're more likely to have an accident."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites