Police blitz on speeding, phone use

MORE than 50 Hunter drivers were caught using their mobile phones while another 50 were booked for speeding in school zones during a statewide 24-hour blitz.

Lake Macquarie police have vowed to continue checking the speeds of motorists within the school zones after 35drivers were caught over the limit in that police local area command alone on Wednesday.

Hunter Valley (8), Newcastle (5) and Central Hunter (4) also fined speeding motorists.

But while Newcastle motorists may have stuck to the speed limit, they could not keep their hands off their phones with 30people given infringement notices.

There were 19 caught with the phones in the Hunter Valley local area command, five in Lake Macquarie and two were caught in Central Hunter.

Port Stephens figures were unavailable.

The statistics were part of the statewide Operation Compliance 1, the day-long crackdown  in which  nearly 700 were using their phones and 400 were speeding in school zones.

Traffic and Highway Patrol commander Superintendent Stuart Smith said police continued to be frustrated by the small percentage of motorists who continued to risk their own lives, and the lives of others, by using a hand-held phone while driving.

“Using a mobile handset while in control of a vehicle is not only illegal, it is highly irresponsible and very dangerous,” Mr Smith said.

“[Wednesday’s] operation highlights that far too many motorists are continuing to distract themselves with mobile phones when they should be focusing their entire attention on the road around them.”

The Hunter bookings were part of a statewide blitz.

The Hunter bookings were part of a statewide blitz.