Police crack down on drivers using mobile phones behind wheel in Ribble Valley

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MOTORISTS are being warned of the dangers of using their mobile phones while driving as a month-long crackdown is launched.

Throughout January, officers from Lancashire Constabulary will be targeting those who use their mobile phones when behind the wheel.

They will also be warning pedestrians to take extra care on the roads, especially if they are using mobile phones, iPods and MP3 players while out on the roads.

Road Policing Insp. Martin Bishop said: "The consequences of driving while using a mobile phone can be catastrophic. It diverts attention away from the road and increases the chances of being involved in a road traffic collision.

"We are determined to reduce the number of people who are killed and seriously injured on our roads. We take action against those who use mobile phones while driving throughout the year, but the concentrated activity taking place this month sets out to let motorists know that this behaviour will simply not be tolerated.

"It is also timely to remind pedestrians of the dangers of not being fully aware of vehicles, especially around the major roads. Many people have received new phones, iPods and MP3 players at Christmas and will be putting them to full use, but we would urge them to take care when they're out and about, particularly when crossing roads."

People caught driving while using their mobile phone will be given a fixed penalty notice and will receive three points on their licence. Those who cause a road traffic collision whilst on the phone face a criminal investigation and being put through the judicial system.

The activity comes as part of Operation Pathway, a Force-wide campaign that sees high profile action days on the county's roads aimed at saving lives and protecting people.