Driver caught on his mobile: I was keeping my ear warm

Surrey Police expose the baffling attitude of some car drivers towards using their phones at the wheel

SURREY POLICE have released details of the excuses given to their officers by drivers caught using their mobile phones at the wheel, in an attempt to raise awareness of the problem and to highlight the confused attitude of some road users to the issue. 

The array of colourful excuses given reflects worryingly on the attitudes of drivers, some blaming their ex-wives, bosses and even childbirth. 

This Is Surrey report that in one case, the honest offender said: 'I am always using it. It’s about time I got caught.'

One motorist begged the officer to help him, saying: 'It was my ex-wife harassing me - can you speak to her?'

Another driver blamed his employer, announcing that: 'My boss called to see where I was.'

One collared father-to-be blamed his behaviour on his unborn child: 'I answered the phone because my wife is having a baby and I thought she may have gone into labour.'

In a number of cases, the driver seemed unaware what using the phone at the wheel entailed, one arguing 'I'm not on the phone, I am looking something up on the internet', while another incredulously pleaded: 'I wasn't calling anyone, I was replying to an email.'

Another offender said: 'I was just telling them I couldn't answer as I was driving'.

One man, stopped for running a red light, even explained his infraction by saying: 'Sorry, I didn't even see the red light, I was on my phone at the time.'

The most pitiful excuse of all came from one driver, who defended his use of the phone at the wheel by claiming that he was keeping his ear warm. 

Surrey County Council's cabinet member for community safety, Kay Hammond, said: 'It may be tempting to answer a call or check your Facebook while driving, but it is a huge distraction and the consequences can be devastating.

'You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving.

'Your reaction times are 50% slower and you are more likely to drift across lanes.

'If you get caught, you face three penalty points on your licence and a £60 fine.'

Should the penalty for those caught using their mobile phone at the wheel be more severe?

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