Surrey Police have shared an alarming picture on social media on Wednesday (9 August) showing a man at the wheel of a car with an iPhone in each hand, all while driving at 60mph. As well as being caught doubly red-handed on camera, the driver was issued a fine but evaded penalty points due to a technicality.
Under current UK motoring laws the minimum penalty for driving while using a mobile device without hands-free equipment is six penalty points on your licence and a £200 fine. However, since the multi-tasking driver was not a UK resident the points were added to a 'ghost licence'.
As the UK does not have a penalty sharing agreement with other EU countries for driving offences, the points are instead recorded on a 'ghost' UK licence created by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
"Whatever this driver had going on must have been super important - phone in each hand!," exclaimed Surrey Police in a tweet, tagging the post with the hashtag "#OpTramline" - an initiative intended to reduce road incidents and improve safety by the Surrey and Sussex's Roads Policing Unit (RPU) by patrolling the area in unmarked HGVs.
"Working together with Highways England provides resilience and a cost effective way to work towards our joint aim to provide a safe and reliable road transport system for all drivers," said Sergeant Sharon Kingston of Surrey RPU at the launch of #OpTramline in February.
"As a result we're able to target some of the offences which can cause casualties on the county's roads – the 'fatal 4' as they are named, include drink/drug driving, using a handheld mobile phone, speeding and seat belt offences."