Police forces have begun a week-long crackdown following suggestions that they are not doing enough to tackle mobile phone use by drivers.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said its second national week of action this year against drivers using mobile phones would include dedicated patrols by officers using unmarked vans, helmet cams and high-seated vehicles, as well as education measures.
NPCC lead for roads policing, chief constable Suzette Davenport, said: ‘Forces are coming together this week with innovative approaches to catching those driving when distracted and a campaign to make drivers think twice about using their mobiles at the wheel.
‘Tackling mobile phone use by drivers requires police enforcement using new technology and tactics to maximise the numbers of people we can stop, combined with strong effective penalties and creative national campaigns to make driving distracted as socially unacceptable as drink driving.’
The NPCC said its previous week of action, in May, resulted in 2,323 offences detected across the week.
A recent RAC report found that 31% of drivers admitted to having used a handheld phone to make or receive calls while driving. Although transport secretary Chris Grayling has pledged to increase penalties, statistics recently showed fewer drivers are being stopped for the offence.
Separately, it has been reported that only one fine was issued for smoking in a car carrying children since a ban was introduced in October last year.