Number of distracted motorists increases in Hatfield

MOTORISTS have been spotted eating breakfast, applying make-up and even sorting coins as they drove through Hatfield this week.

Officers from Hertfordshire County Council conducted a survey yesterday (Wednesday) morning at the Comet roundabout, to count the number of distracted drivers passing through Times Territory.

In the space of an hour, a staggering 48 drivers were seen carrying out various tasks while behind the wheel, which included 19 people talking on mobile phones, 10 people texting, eight eating breakfast, five drinking drinks, three motorists reading and one applying make-up, one putting on a watch and another sorting coins.

Hertfordshire County Council said the figures are “considerably worse” than last year, with a noticeable increase in the number of people texting and using a hand held phone on speaker.

County councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for Highways and Transport, said: “It is worrying that people just do not seem to be getting the message. The chances of being involved in a serious collision greatly increase if you drive while distracted by mobile phones and other activities.

“Even when you’re waiting in traffic, you still need to pay attention to what’s going on around you. It’s easy to feel complacent once you’ve been driving for a while, but taking your eyes off the road for just a second could have a major impact on your ability to stop in an emergency.

“Is answering a phone call, snacking or texting really so important that you’re willing to risk your own life or that of another person?”

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Last year, over 4,350 drivers in Hertfordshire were fined and picked up points on their licence for distraction driving-related offences.