Motorists get creative with smartphone use excuses


Calls from ex-wives, over-zealous bosses and child birth are just some of the excuses drivers have given to the police for using a mobile phone behind the wheel

Smartphone use while driving is giving some motorists creative inspiration, as police report that despite being caught red-handed, many motorists still attempt to talk their way out of trouble.

As part of Surrey Police and Surrey County Council's Drive Smart campaign, traffic police recalled some of the weird and wonderful excuses they have heard. For some, honesty is the best policy, with one driver admitting: 'I am always using it. It's about time I got caught.'

Noted traffic police from Surrey, the lure of a smartphone proved too tempting for one motorist who said: 'I'm not on the phone, I am looking something up on the internet'. While another pleaded: 'I wasn't calling anyone, I was replying to an email.'

A driver with the best of intentions explained: 'I was just telling them I couldn't answer as I was driving.' While another claimed: 'This is the first time I have used it.'

One driver even pleaded for help after being pulled over when he said: 'It was my ex-wife harassing me, can you speak to her?'

And a man stopped for running a red light couldn't help digging a hole for himself when he said: 'Sorry, I didn't even see the red light, I was on my phone at the time.'

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: 'It may be tempting to answer a call or check your Facebook while driving, but it is a huge distraction and the consequences can be devastating.

'You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving. Your reaction times are 50% slower and you are more likely to drift across lanes. If you get caught, you face three penalty points on your licence and a £60 fine. Please take notice of our Drive Smart campaign and don't use a phone while driving,' added Hammond.

Duncan Brown, Head of Road Safety at Surrey Police, said: 'Police officers are only too aware of the tragedies that follow lapses in concentration. Many of these are caused by drivers being distracted or losing control of their vehicle and can be avoided.

'Keep your head up and both eyes on the road. Texting, updating social media sites or reading emails takes the attention away from driving safely and even a momentary lapse in concentration can mean life or death for the driver or other road users,' concluded Brown.


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