A “totally unacceptable” trend of drivers watching films and TV programmes while behind the wheel has been discovered by a police force.
Warwickshire Police said four drivers were caught engaged in this “worrying” activity on the county’s motorways during a recent operation.
Nearly all hand-held use of a mobile phone while driving on Britain’s roads was made illegal in legislation implemented in March last year.
Sergeant Shaun Bridle said: “When driving, it is essential to keep your full attention on the road because your safety, the safety of your passengers and the safety of other road users is far more important than a film or text.
“It is totally unacceptable to watch a film or programme whilst driving or to interact in any way with a hand-held mobile phone.”
The four drivers were caught during a phase of Operation Tramline in Warwickshire between February 20 and March 12.
The initiative involves police officers being deployed in HGV cabs so they can film drivers from an elevated position.
A further 39 drivers were stopped and issued with traffic offence reports for using a hand-held phone.
This included the driver of a school bus with pupils onboard.
It’s disappointing to see so many drivers placing others at risk by using their mobile phones while driving, whether by making calls or, even more alarmingly, by watching videos while behind the wheel
The offenders face a £200 fine and six penalty points.
Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire police and crime commissioner and chair of the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “It’s disappointing to see so many drivers placing others at risk by using their mobile phones while driving, whether by making calls or, even more alarmingly, by watching videos while behind the wheel.
“This can never be acceptable and demonstrates why as a partnership we are putting so much emphasis on changing general attitudes to driving.
“Only by everyone becoming responsible road users can we achieve our aim of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 50% by 2030.”
In October 2020 the RAC said 18% of young drivers who responded to a survey admitted to making or receiving video calls while behind the wheel.