Blitz on driving while using a cellphone

Drivers in Dunedin using handheld cellphones are being targeted by police in a week-long blitz that began yesterday.

Sergeant Tania Baron said she was the "plain-clothed spotter" of drivers using hand-held cellphones during the hour-long operation in Castle St, starting at 10.30am.

The seven constables waiting down the road issued four infringement notices to drivers not wearing seat belts and three infringement notices for driver behaviour at intersections, such as failing to stop at red lights, but there were no infringements for drivers using cellphones for the morning operation, Sgt Baron said.

But when the operation moved to King Edward St in the afternoon, two infringement notices were issued to drivers for not wearing seat belts and two for drivers using cellphones while driving, she said.

When the use of hand-held cellphones while driving was banned more than three years ago, the initial compliance by Dunedin drivers was excellent, but many drivers had reverted to bad habits, Sgt Baron said.

Drivers caught using cellphones would be fined $80 and given 20 demerit points, she said.

The blitz would continue this week but drivers could be stopped any where, any time.


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