Police imposed more than 2,100 penalties for failure to use seat belts and for using mobile phones

Publication date 20.3.2024 16.19
News item

In an intensified campaign last week lasting from Monday to Friday 11–15 March, the police monitored the use of safety devices and mobile phones across the country. The police find it particularly concerning that more and more drivers are fiddling with and texting on their mobile phones while driving.

The police imposed 993 administrative traffic penalty fees of €70 for failure to use safety devices. In 66 cases, the police imposed a fine for causing a traffic hazard because, for example, the failure was conducive to endangering the safety of another person. This may be the case, for example, in the case of an offence committed by a passenger in the back seat or when the guardian/driver fails to use a child safety device.

More than a thousand drivers were caught using a mobile phone unlawfully

As regards inattention, the police found that 610 drivers were holding a mobile phone when speaking on it while driving and 420 drivers were using their mobile phone otherwise while holding it. The police imposed a traffic penalty fee of €100 on them. In addition, the police imposed sanctions on three persons for using other technical devices that endangered or hampered driving. In two cases, the police filed a report of inattentiveness.

All in all, the number of penalties issued increased from around 1,600 last year to around 2,100 this year. This increase comes as no surprise to Chief Superintendent Tuomo Katajisto at the National Police Board of Finland because this time the police were able to devote more working hours to monitoring than last year.

”I find it particularly concerning that the number of traffic penalty fees issued for using a mobile phone for purposes other than speaking has almost doubled compared to last year. In practice, an infraction often means that the driver has been texting while driving the vehicle. When drivers keep their eyes off of the road for any time, they significantly increase the risk of accident,” says Chief Superintendent Tuomo Katajisto.

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