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Police crack down on phone-using drivers

Motorists are not permitted to hold mobile phones in their hands, even at traffic lights.

Poliisi poliisiauton sivuovella.
Image: Juha Kemppainen / Yle

Drivers in Finland face heightened scrutiny this week as police clamp down on motorists using mobile phones.

The operation is part of the "European Day Without a Road Death" campaign, which takes place throughout Europe on Wednesday. The aim is to achieve a day without a single death on Europe's roads.

According to the European Commission, between 10 and 30 percent of all accidents are caused by lack of attention.

"The driver of a motor vehicle should not hold a mobile phone in the hand while driving. The car does not have to be moving. In other words, 'while driving' also refers to sitting behind the wheel in traffic and waiting for the lights to change," said Heikki Kallio, Chief Superintendent with the National Police Board.

During the week, police will also monitor the use of seat belts.

"The use of seat belts has risen in the past few years," Kallio said, "But unfortunately some passengers, particularly those in the back seat or those in the front seat of a van, still forget to fasten their seat belts far too often."

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