A WOMAN was stopped by police after being caught doing her hair and taking a selfie on her phone while driving.
Officers from the Dorset Police No Excuse team were around the Castle Lane East area on Friday responding to complaints of inconsiderate commuter traffic.
One female driver, who was in her early 20s, was watched in slow-moving traffic in Chaseside doing her hair with one hand, whilst in the other hand she held her phone up to take a ‘selfie’.
It is believed she was travelling around 5mph.
No Excuse team leader Sgt Stuart Pitman said: “She fully admitted what she had been doing and that she was planning on posting the photo on social media.
“What surprised everyone was that after the officers had dealt with her she asked for a selfie with the two officers. This was of course declined and resulted in the officers offering some further roadside education to the lady.”
The lady opted for a driver awareness course.
Doing your hair or make-up while driving is not a specific offence. However, anyone distracted behind the wheel or failing to operate their vehicle correctly because they are grooming themselves could be committing an offence of driving without due care and attention, or not being in proper control of a vehicle.
It is treated similarly to eating or drinking at the wheel - which according to the road safety charity Brake ‘can make you less able to react to hazards and increases your crash risk’.
Last month mum-of-one Elsa Harris was ordered by the courts to pay a £145 fine after being caught peeling and eating a banana at the wheel while stuck in traffic in Barrack Road in Christchurch in June last year.
Also on Friday a male driver was stopped after being seen driving at around 30mph whilst holding his phone and focusing on the lit screen, rather than where he was going.
A post on the No Excuse Facebook page said: “This man delivered the old favourite that we should be catching ‘real’ criminals, whilst failing to accept the danger he was presenting by looking at his phone whilst driving.”
Sgt Stuart Pitman added: “The No Excuse team continues to see examples from the minority of motorists of putting both themselves and others at risk.
“The woman taking a selfie would not have been able to react to an unexpected event in front of her or stop if required to do so quickly.
“We have found many drivers now try to check their phones discreetly so other road used cannot see them and this in turn has resulted in us amending our tactics to detect this. It is often the case that the distraction is coupled with a speeding offence and the two together can prove even deadlier.”