During a week-long crackdown in November, police across the UK caught a record number of motorists using a mobile phone whilst driving.
According to Auto Express, the enforcement operation saw police hand out 7,966 mobile phone offences. This was the highest number on record, and equated to 47 drivers caught every hour of the week.
Figures from the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) revealed that over 7,800 fixed penalty notices, hundreds of verbal warnings and 68 court summons had been issued to drivers during the campaign.
When compared to previous operations, the figures also represent more than a three-fold increase. In May last year, police forces caught 2,323 mobile phone offenders during the course of a similar week-long campaign.
Recent studies suggest up to 11 million motorists admit to using a phone while driving, and the number of people who find mobile phone use at the wheel acceptable has risen from 7% to 14%.
Mobile phone use is now being targeted in an NPCC week-long campaign, running until 29 January.
In an effort to tackle mobile phone use at the wheel, police forces are said to be considering the use of community spotters – members of the public that report offenders to police – in addition to partnerships with other local authorities.
The Department for Transport's plan to introduce new laws doubling the fixed penalty notices for mobile phone use from £100 and three points to £200 and six points will come into effect in the first half of this year.
Do you think mobile phone use at the wheel is getting worse?