Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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NEW, tougher penalties are coming into force to clamp down on people using mobile phones while driving.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is taking part in a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers involved in using a mobile phone while driving.
Crews across the county attended almost 1,200 RTCs during 2016 and rescued more people from these incidents than from fires.
The campaign advises motorists to switch their phones off or put them on silent and out of temptations way while driving.
New legislation is coming into effect on March 1, 2017, with motorists who are caught using a mobile phone while driving to receive six points on their license and a £200 fine, which is double the current punishment.
Paul Etches, Head of Prevention, said: "The reason the fire service is involved in road safety education is because we now rescue more people from road traffic collisions than we do from fires.
"It is sad when we turn up to a road crash and see a mobile phone on the passenger seat and it happens far too often, which is why we are supporting this national campaign.
"We want to educate people that they need their full concentration while driving – they should not be updating social media, taking pictures or sending texts.
"We, along with GMP and the Dep for Transport urge all drivers to switch their phones off or put them on silent and out of temptations way whilst in control of a vehicle."
Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal and can affect the ability to drive as much as alcohol can.
You can help to raise awareness of the issue using the hashtag #WrongForTheRoad
Anyone with information of persistent offenders who drive while using their mobile phone should contact local police officers or call 101 with details.
Texting while driving can double the likelihood of a crash compared to drink driving.
Watch the tragic story of a family who lost their loving mother due to a driver texting.