Police have confirmed they will not be seizing phones after every road crash, despite reports claiming the contrary.
Both national and regional press reported that police officers had received guidance that they must seize drivers' mobile phones after car accidents, for evidence.
The move was said to have been put into effect by the Association of Chief Police Officers, overseen by Gloucestershire Police chief constable Suzette Davenport. However, on Saturday Davenport rubbished such assertions in a statement saying: "At no point have I issued guidance to officers to seize mobile phones from drivers at the site of every road traffic collision."
Davenport went on to add that, though it had been standard practice to seize mobile phones from drivers at the scenes of very serious collisions for evidence-gathering purposes, it is not the case for every road traffic accident.
The contradictory statement may disappoint some pressure groups and charities that had supported the alleged move due to the number of people killed or injured in accidents caused by drivers sending texts, emails or social media updates while behind the wheel.
In spite of this, Davenport says the police force is still committed to reducing the illegal use of mobile phones while driving. "We are unequivocal in our determination to keep all road users safe. Drivers must continue to be aware not only of the risks posed by being distracted by mobile phones while in control of a car, but the serious penalties which they will face if they are caught," said Davenport.
Currently drivers caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel face a fine of £100 and three penalty points on their license. However, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has been considering plans to double the punishment by increasing the number of points to six.
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