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Police out in force to catch drivers flouting the law

Credit: PA Images

Police across the region are out in force today, to catch drivers who are using their mobile phone at the wheel.

From today, the penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving have doubled, with drivers facing a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on their licence.

If caught for a second time they will automatically be required to appear in court to receive a fine of up to £1,000 and a driving ban of up to six months.

New drivers - those in their first two years of driving - will automatically lose their licence and have to re-sit their test.

Today's police action is the first day of a national week of operations to catch motorists who continue flout the law and risk lives by using their phones at the wheel.

Widow's support for road safety campaign

Project Pictogram will highlight road safety Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

The widow of a Hampshire man who died in a crash on the M27 a year ago is backing a new road safety campaign.

45 year old Kevin Burton, from Southampton, died in the crash near Whiteley when his car was hit by a lorry and burst into flames. The driver of the lorry was jailed for ten months after admitting he'd been distracted at the wheel.

Rachael says her husband would still be alive today if the driver had been paying more attention.

Project Pictogram will see road safety symbols stuck on the back of thousands of commercial vehicles to remind drivers to slow down, not use mobiles and to keep a safe distance.

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Police announce locations for 'no excuse' campaign

Police are looking out for drivers using mobile phones Credit: ITV

The 'no excuse' team operated by Dorset Police is out and about in the county tackling bad and inconsiderate driving.

The team aims to use a combination of enforcement and education to tackle the ‘fatal five’: drink and drug driving; excessive and inappropriate speed; not wearing a seatbelt; driver distractions such as hand-held mobile phones; and careless driving.

The police have announced the areas for their campaign over the next few days.

Thursday 18th February: No Excuse and camera van covering West Dorset due to speed complaints and collisions. Friday 19th February: No Excuse and camera van covering Poole due to speed complaints and collisions. Saturday 20th February: No Excuse and camera van covering Bournemouth due to speed complaints and collisions. Tuesday 23rd February: No Excuse and camera van covering Poole due to speed complaints and collisions. Wednesday 24th February: No Excuse and camera van covering Bournemouth due to speed complaints, collisions and assisting local officers. Friday 26th February: No Excuse and camera van covering Poole due to speed complaints and collisions. Saturday 27th February: No Excuse and camera van covering Weymouth Beach Race Event with the 50/50 car.

Long queue of learners wait for driving test

Remember when you took your driving test? Well, it seems that for people learning NOW - after they've done all their lessons and passed their theory - there could be a very long wait until the practical test.

That wait time should only be six weeks - but, as Robert Murphy found out, thousands of drivers are in a long queue.

Ton-up Giovanni, 103, is still behind the wheel...

Now we'd all like to think we'll keep active into a ripe old age, wouldn't we - Being independent and, hopefully, still driving our cars.

Well there's one pensioner who is setting an extraordinary example to the rest of us. Giovanni Rozzo is still behind the wheel - and he's 103 years old.

He told reporter Russell Hookey he'll keep on driving - so long as he's safe.

Racing champ Paddy backs refreshers for older drivers

He won at Monte Carlo - now former racing driver Paddy Hopkirk is advising his peers to do refresher driving courses

Older drivers have come under the spotlight in Buckinghamshire, with new figures showing a dramatic increase in the number of people over the age of 65 being involved in accidents.

Now the local council has enlisted the support of one of the World's top rally drivers to help keep senior citizens in the fast lane.

During his racing career Paddy Hopkirk, won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally and numerous World titles. Now 82 years old, he's backing a scheme that encourages mature motorists to get their driving checked by the professionals. Penny Silvester reports.

The interviewees are: Paddy Hopkirk, 1964 Monte Carlo rally winner; Cllr Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council; and June Howlett, Buckinghamshire County Council road safety officer.

There is helpful information for older drivers at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Older Drivers Forum.

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Cost of diesel in Meridian region goes up again

For almost 15 years, petrol was cheaper than diesel. But this summer, for two months only the cost of diesel at the pump dropped below its counterpart.

Now though, the price of unleaded has dropped again. And diesel is once more the more expensive fuel.

Andrew Pate went to find out why - and what it means for us motorists here in the South.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

New tech warns phone-addict drivers

We all know it's against the law but thousands of drivers in the south-east are still using their mobile phones behind the wheel, making calls, texting, and even taking pictures.

In Sussex last year, more than 1,800 drivers were caught using a phone while driving. And in Kent, more than 1,000 drivers were given penalties in 2014.

Now a trial has started in Sussex of an "intelligent lamppost" that can detect when a phone is being used in a car - and it flashes a warning - telling you to stop doing it.

But will it work? David Johns investigates. He speaks to Carl Knapp of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership; Peter Rodger of the Institute of Advanced Motorists; and sign manufacturer Tim Barnett.

Ferrari worth £220,000 is written off after being hired for family wedding

A 200mph Sussex supercar has been written off after being hired for a family wedding. A 29-year-old old man hired the Ferrari 458 Italia for the wedding in Luton. The insurance company took three minutes to write the vehicle off.

The Ferrari had been hired for a wedding Credit: SWNS

The Ferrari had been hired from Prestige Lifestyle in Shoreham. A spokesman for the company said they were devastated to learn about the crash. The '64 plate supercar had only covered 4,600 miles.

The insurance company wrote off the vehicle Credit: SWNS
The scene after the bizarre crash Credit: SWNS

No one was injured when the red and grey Italia hit a low brick wall and wedged itself under a VW taxi. The accident also involved a Vauxhall Astra.

Drivers are furious! Kate reports from the controversial bus lane as it rakes in millions

Seventy five motorists a day are being caught by a controversial bus lane camera in Oxford. The camera is raking in more than £1.5 million a year for the council. Now local businessmen are calling for better signs to stop confused drivers constantly being caught. The council is refusing to budge, claiming the scheme stops the city centre getting snarled up. Kate Bunkall talked to David Marcus, Oxford High Street Traders; Graham Jones, Rox; and Ian Hudspeth, Leader, Oxfordshire County Council.

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