Feeds

Coppers nab more mobe-yapping drivers

HELLO? YES, I'M IN A TWISTED METAL CARCASS!

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The number of people charged for driving while talking on the mobile has been climbing steadily for the last few years. The majority were Londoners, who are also the most adept in getting away with it.

The figures come from a commons answer in response to a question from Bury MP David Ruffley asking how many drivers were stopped, charged, convicted, fined and cautioned. The first two of those aren't recorded nationally, and neither are fixed-penalty notices which make up the majority of cases, but the remaining figures have been made available for the years 2003-2006.

Only one person was fined for using a mobile phone in 2003, but come 2004 789 people were up in court charged with "use of hand-held mobile phone while driving". 641 were found guilty and 596 got fined for it. Those figures have been climbing steadily since, with 2005 seeing 2,090 appearances, and 2,682 putting their case in 2006. These figures are all from England and Wales - Scottish figures are separate and not recorded here.

The number of people found guilty has also been climbing, as police and prosecutors work out which cases they are likely to win and how to present them, though there's still room for improvement in some areas.

In 2004 the Metropolitan Police took 203 drivers to court, but only 124 were found guilty - that's only 61 per cent. Manchester, with the next-highest figures, hauled 73 miscreants in front of the beak and got a guilty rate of 89 per cent, with 64 of those 65 being fined.

Come 2005 the Met were sharpening their game: upping their ratio to almost 83 per cent of the 658 they took to court, with 545 being found guilty, but still couldn't match Manchester's rate of 88 per cent of 154 court appearances being found guilty.

But the trend is definitely in London's favour - in 2006 the Met managed to up their rate to 85.8 per cent, compared to Manchester's 86 per cent, with the forces collaring 588 and 183 miscreants respectively.

Getting guilty verdicts is all very well, but the astute reader will have noticed an upward trend in court appearances. With more people getting pulled each year it's hard to imagine this is leading to a decline in drivers yapping on hand-held devices while in motion. It could be down to more effective policing, or perhaps better reporting, but it could equally be more people believing their call is important enough to risk their life over.

Unless they live in Kent - where no one has apparently ever used a mobile phone handset whilst driving, or at least got caught doing it. Northamptonshire has an almost equally good record, excepting a burst of activity in 2004 when 8 people made it to court - obviously an over-eager officer who has since been suitably retrained. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.