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Bradford police bike team using helmet cams to catch bad drivers

Drivers using mobile phones at the wheel identified as being a common problem

Officers from Bradford’s anti-social behaviour bike team have been using helmet cams to gather evidence on dangerous drivers. Motorists using mobile phones at the wheel have been among those caught by officers on unmarked bikes.

The Telegraph and Argus reports that those stopped also included an impatient driver who drove on the wrong side of a road in Girlington to overtake a queue of traffic, and a lorry driver who blocked a pedestrian crossing at a junction in Shipley.

In the Girlington case, the driver was issued with a warning notice, which means his vehicle could be seized if he is caught driving in a similar way within the next 12 months.

PC Hitchcocks said:

"It was purely the driver's poor attitude that almost caused a collision. Impatient drivers are responsible for damage and injuries across the district and this needs to stop. Any drivers seen in similar circumstances can expect to be dealt with.

"Dash cams are becoming more and more popular with the public so if you choose to behave in this manner, any footage captured may well be used to assist a prosecution against you."

An interview with Traffic Droid: the man who submits up to 20 videos per week to police

It seems that use of a mobile phone at the wheel was the most common problem. "People are seemingly oblivious to the danger they pose to other road users and would undoubtedly be the first people to complain if someone acting the same way crashed into them,” said HItchcocks.

Dave Nichols, of road safety charity Brake, commented:

"Using a mobile phone at the wheel is a serious offence that dramatically increases your risk of crashing and killing or seriously injuring someone.

"The impact of using a phone on reaction times, hand-held and hands-free, is on a par with drink driving. It is great to see the police actively catching these culprits, which is why we’re appealing to Bradford drivers to put their mobile phone on silent and out of reach, because no call or text is worth a life."

Data released by the Ministry of Justice in October showed that just 17,414 prosecutions were launched in magistrates’ courts for drivers using their phone at the wheel last year – down by 47 per cent from 32,571 in 2009. This was despite Department for Transport figures from 2014 which indicated more people had been observed using a mobile than in 2009.

Currently, offenders face a fine of £100 and three penalty points for using a mobile phone while driving, although earlier this year it was reported that could be doubled to six points and a £200 fine.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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