Police forces across England and Wales are increasing their focus on drivers who use their phones behind the wheel this week.

Starting January 22, officers will be conducting targeted patrols using unmarked vans, high vantage points and helmet cams to catch offenders. The last operation in July 2017 saw over 8,000 drivers stopped and 2,595 offences detected.

Legislation introduced in March 2017 means those caught can receive six points on their driving licence and a £200 fine. Early indications show that the new legislation is having an impact with around 11% fewer drivers stopped in the three months post-legislation than in the preceding three months.

“Nearly a year on from legislation to toughen the sanctions for using a phone at the wheel, we are seeing some change in driver behaviour but there are still too many people underestimating the risk they take,” said National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Anthony Bangham. “If you glance at a phone for even 2.3 seconds while driving at 30mph you miss 100ft of road. That is the equivalent to the length of Boeing 737.”