Motorist stopped for eating cereal at the wheel during police crackdown

Motorist stopped for eating cereal at the wheel during police crackdown
A motorist was stopped by police after they caught him eating cereal at the wheel.

The man was stopped in Manchester Road in Hyde, Greater Manchester, as officers began an operation to educate people about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

The man was given the option of points, a course or a court appearance.

The first week of the Greater Manchester Police crackdown saw 142 drivers stopped for using a phone.

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Four more, including the driver who ate his breakfast at the wheel, were reprimanded for not being in proper control of a vehicle.

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Officers have been using undercover and marked police vehicles to catch people, with the operation continuing throughout the coming weeks and in the run up to Christmas.

Superintendent Craig Thompson said: "Last week was just the beginning of our focus on these offences over the coming weeks and sent a clear message to anyone using a mobile phone while driving – it will absolutely not be tolerated here in Greater Manchester and it must stop."

From next year, new penalties will be see drivers get six points on their licence and a £200 spot fine if they are caught using a mobile phone while driving.

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The man was stopped by police just days after it was announced that 'road safety spotters' are being asked to report drivers seen using mobile phones illegally behind the wheel.

The pilot ‘community spotters’ scheme will target repeat offenders.

The spotters are drawn from community bodies and local stakeholders, these include the Fire & Rescue service and the Institute of Advanced Motoring.

In the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2016 study, 48% of motorists admitted to using a mobile phone behind the wheel in the past year.

With mobile phone distractions causing 440 accidents in Britain over the same period, it is hoped the crackdown by police, as well as the new proposed punishments from the Government, will deter drivers from using their phone.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “It is time for motorists to accept their personal responsibility to drive safely and to observe the law. No call, text, post or tweet can be that important – it really can wait.”

Figures released earlier this month also show that the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads rose by 3% in the year to June and deaths were at their highest number in half a decade.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.