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Young motorists with less than two years on the road would have their licence revoked if caught once.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said he wanted the use of mobiles at the wheel to become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.
Officers gave verbal advice to 388 drivers, issued 838 fixed or graduated penalty notices, and filed 3,318 traffic offence reports – usually requiring attendance at a driver education course.
'The footage of the driver with his foot up on the dashboard is particularly alarming, and I dread to think what would have happened if he had needed to brake suddenly,' said Richard Leonard, Highways England's head of road safety.'We will continue to use the cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive.' National Police Chiefs' Council lead for roads policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: 'Driving whilst distracted is completely unacceptable and police are also making use of the tougher new penalties to stop this dangerous behaviour by ensuring that offenders face the full weight of law.'People have to think about the consequences of their actions - a moment's distraction can change innocent lives.
It is never a risk worth taking.'Latest statistics show that mobile phone use is a factor in an average of two deaths on the roads every month, with 124 people losing their lives over the past 5 years.
Theresa May pledged tough action, saying that using a handheld phone while driving was ‘totally unacceptable’.
In a victory for the Mail, it was announced on September 17 that ministers are set to double the punishment for using a phone.