Manchester motorists face more than a slap on the wrist if caught using new Apple Watch, warn police

Manchester motorists could face a £100 on the spot fine and three points on their licence if they get caught using the new Apple Watch according to Greater Manchester Police.

The latest piece of wearable technology, set for release next year, will allow users to make and receive calls and check messages.

But drivers could end up with more than a slapped wrist if they’re caught operating them at the wheel.

The law currently states it is an offence to ride a motorcycle or drive using a hand-held phone, or similar device, and drivers who do can expect a £100 on the spot fine and three points on their licence.

Chief Inspector, Rachel Buckle, from GMP’s Roads Policing and Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Anything that causes you to take your eye off the road, even for just a split second, is dangerous, and sadly in our job we see first-hand the devastating consequences caused by distraction.

“Using a mobile phone or any other similar device is identified as one of the top four contributing factors to deaths and serious injuries on our roads, and we make no excuse for tackling this type of behaviour as it could save lives.

“Our advice is simple – keep your eyes on the road at all times, do not allow yourself to be distracted and if you do need to make a call or even adjust your sat nav, pull over into a safe spot to do so.”

Leading road safety charity the Institute of Advances Motorists (IAM) has also expressed concerns about the devise and have claimed a ‘higher proportion of drivers performance will be significantly impaired’ by the Apple Watch.

The charity claim constant alerts will interfere with motorists’ attention and have also pointed out the device will require drivers to us two hands to operate it – impacting speed, lane position and time spent looking at the road.

Neil Greig, IAM Director of Policy and Research said: “An Apple Watch has the potential to be just as distracting as any other smart phone device.

“Indeed more so if you have to take your hand off the wheel and your eyes off the road to interact with it.

“Enforcement will be difficult for the police, but powers exist to seize and interrogate devices in the event of a serious crash. The very device that distracted you also has the power to convict you.”

Image courtesy of TouchArcade, via YouTube, with thanks

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