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115,000 nabbed for in-car calling

Drivers get the message, but only after pulling over

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More than 115,000 people in England and Wales got fixed penalties for being on the blower whilst driving in 2007, dropping off from the 2006 peak of almost 160,000.

Figures are only available up until 2007, but according to a parliamentary answer the number of drivers caught talking on the phone peaked in 2006, and is dropping as they either learn the error of their ways or die in the resulting accidents.

The number of drivers caught talking on a mobile phone ramped up steadily once offence-specific legislation was introduced in 2003. That year only saw two thousand fixed penalties issued, though to be fair the legislation only came in late in the year.

The number was up to 70,000 by 2004, and almost doubled in 2005 and peaked at 158,605 in 2006, before falling off slightly come 2007, the last year for which figures are available.

The statistics come from a written parliamentary answer and also show that almost 10,000 people ended up in court for the offence in 2007, compared to 1225 in 2006, a sharp rise that's attributable to new penalties introduced in 2007 when it seemed the message still wasn't getting home. ®

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