The police will be watching the use of mobile phones while driving and waiting in traffic. Picture: Steve Bowbrick

This week from September 17 to 21, the police will observe the use of mobile phones and other distraction factors in traffic. At the same time, also the legality of foreign citizens’ residence in the country will be supervised.

The operation will support the European Day Without a Road Death, to be organized throughout Europe on Wednesday, September 19, by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL).

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The aim is to achieve a day without a single death on Europe’s roads.

The European Commission has estimated that inattention is a risk factor in 10–30 percent of road accidents. When monitoring distraction in traffic, the police monitors any activity that may have an impact on concentration or other observation of traffic.

‘While driving’ also refers to sitting behind the wheel in traffic, waiting for the lights to change, not only driving when the car is actually moving.

According to Heikki Kallio, chief superintendent of the National Police Board, it is typical for inattention to be due to mobile phones, which are either handled or talked on while driving.

”The driver of a motor vehicle may not use a mobile phone while driving so that the driver holds the phone in his hand. ‘While driving’ also refers to sitting behind the wheel in traffic, waiting for the lights to change, not only driving when the car is actually moving.” Kallio said in a bulletin.

Seat belts save lives

According to the estimates of the Finnish road accident investigation teams, a seat belt could have saved the lives of every third person killed in a road accident.

“With a view to traffic safety, it is positive that the use of seat belts has increased over the last few years. Unfortunately, however, particularly people sitting on the back seat of passenger cars or on the front seat of a van or truck, still forget to fasten their seat belts way too often. The means by which the police can increase the use of seat belts are monitoring and provision of information,” Kallio said.