Police in Cumbria will be taking part in the NPCC National Mobile Phone Operation targeting those using their mobile phones while driving.

The operation will run for two weeks starting on February 8.

Inspector Stephen Vickers from the mobile support group said: “We see the devastating effects of those that have been distracted whilst driving whether that be by a mobile or other device.

"If you use your mobile whilst driving you are four times more likely to crash.

“Nothing is that urgent to risk your life or the life of others. If you do need to check your phone or take a call find a safe space to stop.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of fatal driving accidents in the UK alongside drink/drug driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt – also known as ‘The Fatal Four’. Using a mobile phone whilst driving is a selfish act – it not only puts the perpetrator’s life at risk but also the lives of innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians – no text or call is worth your life.

“I’m glad Cumbria Constabulary are raising awareness about how the Police tackle distracted driving and to raise awareness around the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel of a vehicle. The message is simple – if you need to make a call, find a safe place to park and reduce the risk of a fatal accident.”

Police say driving whilst using a mobile phone and even a hands-free device could distract drivers from recognising and reacting to hazards. If caught using a handheld phone while driving, the penalty is six points on a licence and a fine of £200.

If someone gets six points in the first two years after passing their test, they will lose their licence.

They added whilst legal, hands-free can be just as distracting. The best place for the phone to not distract whilst driving is in the glove box or out of sight.

They said there are not just legal consequences of using a mobile phone, driving whilst distracted can have fatal consequences that will affect not just the driver but their family.

A hand-held phone should only be used if the driver is safely parked . Or in an emergency to call 999 when unable to stop.