Motorists on the phone to be targeted by police in campaign

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Motorists who use a mobile phone while driving will be the target of a week-long operation starting on Monday.

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit will be out looking for motorists breaking the law.

The operation coincides with a week-long campaign being conducted by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

Driving while using a mobile phone is considered one of the ‘fatal four’ driving offences, along with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and drink or drug driving.

Inspector Phil Bloor said: “People who use a mobile phone while driving not only put their life at risk, but the lives of others.

“Studies have shown that your reaction times are 50 per cent slower if you use a mobile phone while driving and you are four times more likely to have a collision. Comparisons have been made to it impairing your ability to drive to a similar degree as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.”

From January to the end of March this year 815 people were issued with tickets for driving while using a mobile phone across the three counties – Beds 168, Cambs 290 and Herts 357.