Crackdown on ‘fatal five’ driving offences on the North Devon Link Road will continue, say police

South Molton police caught 15 drivers on their mobile phones in just three hours during an operation on the A361 North Devon Link Road.

The joint police and fire service high visibility traffic operation was carried out in response to recent serious crashes on the road.

It was aimed at the 'fatal five' - excessive or inappropriate speed, no seatbelt, using a mobile phone, drink or drug driving and careless or inconsiderate driving.

A total of 26 driving offences were detected, including 15 where drivers were seen using mobile phones handheld while at the wheel.

South Molton neighbourhood beat manager Warrick Lansdell, who led the operation, said: "This operation was completely successful and has highlighted the serious issues we face in policing our roads today.

"It is hugely concerning and disappointing to still see drivers distracted by mobile phones whilst behind the wheel. This is potentially fatal behaviour for the driver and other innocent road users, not to mention that it is as socially unacceptable as drink driving."

North Devon Sector Inspector Paul Searle added: "The aim of this operation has been to provide a highly visible deterrent on our roads, whilst identifying the worst offenders, and dealing with them. From what we have seen during this operation it is clear that we must and will continue in the same manner in order to promote safer driving."

Police said more operations were planned for the A361 in the coming months.