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Police take No Excuses for mobile phone use in Poole driver crackdown
POLICE in Poole are taking no excuses from motorists.
Their action comes just two days after an inquest heard that a Special Constable was using her mobile telephone when her car collided with a motorcycle, killing its rider.
As part of the Surround a Town road safety event, the Echo was invited to join traffic officers PC Richard Stroud and PC Mark Palmer as they patrolled in an unmarked car fitted with a camera to record the speed of vehicles.
Within about an hour, the eagle-eyed duo pulled over three separate van drivers spotted using their mobile telephones at the wheel.
A Ford Transit minibus driver who was seen holding his phone in his right hand and looking down at it as he approached a roundabout told us: “I wasn’t actually on the phone.
“It rang but my hands free wasn’t plugged in. I stuck the phone back in the holder and ignored the call.”
Carpenter Josh Mellor, also seen using his mobile phone while driving, was stopped in Ringwood Road, Parkstone.
He admitted: “I don’t really have an excuse. I shouldn’t have been doing it.
“I was on my way to a meeting when the phone went. I thought maybe it was the person I was supposed to be meeting, so I just picked up the phone.
“I will have it in the back of the van in future.”
The third culprit, who was stopped in Herbert Avenue, did not want to talk to us, but like the others he now faces a £60 fine.
All three will either have to stump up another £110 for an awareness course or take three penalty points on their licences.
PCs Stroud and Palmer also stopped a motorist clocked doing nearly 62mph on the 50mph Dorset Way, scene of several serious road traffic collisions
Earlier Police Community Support Officers James Somerville and Patrick Wales patrolled outside Manorside Combined School in Evering Avenue looking for drivers not wearing seatbelts, using mobile phones at the wheel or parking on yellow lines.
They spoke to a handful of drivers who parked illegally, including one woman who claimed her child was “too small” to walk far.
“She wasn’t happy. People don’t understand it’s for their child’s safety,” said Mr Somerville.
Motorists caught not wearing seatbelts were offered a course at Streetwise.
Cyclists under 15 found riding their bikes without lights were being offered the chance to have free lights fitted at the roadside.
Others were given seven days to have lights fitted or otherwise pay a £30 fine.
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