I wasn't making mobile call, driver told police. I was only using the internet...

 

Motorists caught driving while using their mobile phones have blamed "ranting" ex-wives, over-zealous bosses and even childbirth for their offending behaviour, according to police.

One driver also admitted failing to see a red light because he was on the phone and another denied making a call saying he was only using the internet.

Surrey Police and Surrey County Council have released details of the excuses given by drivers as part of a campaign targeting the use of mobile phones while behind the wheel.

In one case, the driver stopped by police pleaded for help from the officer and said: "It was my ex-wife harassing me, can you speak to her?"

Another motorist blamed work pressures when he said: "My boss called to see where I was."

A father-to-be explained: "I answered the phone because my wife is having a baby and I thought she may have gone into labour."

The lure of a smart phone proved too tempting for one motorist, who said: "I'm not on the phone, I am looking something up on the internet".

While another pleaded: "I wasn't calling anyone, I was replying to an email."

Another driver admitted: "I am always using it. It's about time I got caught."

Another driver said: "I was just telling them I couldn't answer as I was driving," while another claimed: "This is the first time I have used it."

And a man stopped for running a red light said: "Sorry, I didn't even see the red light, I was on my phone at the time."

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council's cabinet member for community safety, 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. Please take notice of our Drive SMART campaign and don't use a phone while driving."

Duncan Brown, head of road safety at Surrey Police, said: "Police officers are only too aware of the tragedies that follow lapses in concentration.

"Many of these are caused by drivers being distracted or losing control of their vehicle and can be avoided.

"Keep your head up and both eyes on the road. Texting, updating social media sites or reading emails takes the attention away from driving safely and even a momentary lapse in concentration can mean life or death for the driver or other road users."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy