Mobiles and seat belts crackdown leads to 653 driving fines

HUNDREDS of drivers were caught using a mobile phone or not wearing a seat belt during a Scottish police day of action.

A total of 178 motorists were caught using mobile phones, landing an automatic 60 fine and three points on their driving licences.

A total of 475 drivers were caught driving without a seat belt, earning themselves a statutory fine of 60.

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Chief Superintendent Charlie Common, of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, said: "On the day after which we celebrated excellent provisional casualty figures for Scottish roads, it is disappointing to again find such widespread disregard of legislation which is designed to safeguard drivers and their passengers."

Strathclyde was the area with the highest number of offenders, with 249 drivers detected not using their seat belts and 118 caught driving while using their mobiles.

Grampian was the area with the fewest offenders, with only six drivers found without a seat belt and three driving while using a mobile phone.

Of the 178 motorists caught using their mobile phones while driving, 17 were van drivers and three were lorry drivers.

Chief Supt Common said it was worrying that the message about the dangers of using mobile phones while driving and the risks of not wearing seat belts were still not getting through.

"Results from across the country clearly reveal that we have continuing problems with people failing to put on seat belts and using mobile phones.

"All Scottish forces have campaigned tirelessly in highlighting the risks associated with the failure to use seat belts."