M6 driver caught eating porridge at the wheel
Almost 300 motorists were caught by motorway cops during a week-long campaign tackling distracted driving and mobile phone use behind the wheel.
A driver eating porridge on the M6, a woman applying make-up at the wheel, and a biker steering one-handed while he took a call were among the most shocking incidents encountered by the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG).
In total, 289 people were found using a hand-held device or driving carelessly during the May 23-26 campaign.
First time offenders were offered the chance to attend a driver improvement course, while others were fined and had licences endorsed with three points or face a day in court on suspicion of careless driving.
CMPG Inspector Sion Hathaway said: “Some of the things our officers saw were absolutely staggering. In the space of just a few minutes we caught a man eating porridge and a lady applying lipstick both while driving on the M6 at 50mph.
“We also stopped a motorcyclist riding his bike with his helmet resting on the top of his head in order to take a phone call.
“A number of motorists who were stopped for using their mobile phones were also found to have no insurance…so their vehicles were seized.”
The campaign saw officers in both marked and unmarked vehicles on the lookout for motorists using mobiles to make calls, text or browse the internet.
Between 2013 and 2015, a total of 7,713 drivers in the West Midlands were prosecuted for driving while using a mobile phone.
Insp Hathaway added: “Yet again it’s very disappointing to see that many people just don’t seem to be getting the message that using your phone, or any mobile device, while driving is extremely dangerous.
“If you use your phone when driving your reaction times are similar to those of someone over the drink drive limit…no call can be so urgent that it’s worth putting lives at risk.”