PLAIN clothes police officers have caught 30 drivers using their mobile phones during an operation in Wangaratta.
Police spent three hours at the intersection of Murphy and Reid streets on Monday and detected people texting, checking emails and using the GPS function on their phones.
It was the second time the highway patrol members had run the operation on the city’s main road, and caught nearly twice as many people using phones than the first operation in April.
Leading Senior Constable Rachelle Maher said the officers also found two people not wearing seatbelts and a woman smoking with children in her car.
Many phone users had stopped at traffic lights, which she said was still illegal.
“They’re still driving a car, even though they’ve stopped,” she said.
“You’re not allowed to be touching the phone at all.
“They’re still quite a distraction.”
Police had stood on the side of the road and approached those using their phones, directing them to move to a designated area.
Leading Senior Constable Maher said it was likely to become a regular operation.
“People know that it’s wrong,” she said.
“We didn’t get one person who said they didn’t know it was wrong.”
Some people were using their phones while driving up to traffic lights and others were stationary in their vehicles.
It followed an operation which netted drink and drug drivers on Sunday.
A Baranduda man was caught travelling at 124km/h in a 100km/h zone with a blood alcohol reading of .101 and methamphetamine in his system.
Two men were charged with reckless conduct endangering life after performing lengthy burnouts on the Great Alpine Road at Ovens.
One driver was caught drinking from a stubbie while heading into a breath testing site and a man in Myrtleford returned a reading of .073.
A woman also had her car impounded on Saturday after returning a reading of 0.222 in Wangaratta.
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