STRICTER penalties for drivers caught using mobile phones at the wheel come into force today (Wednesday).
South Yorkshire Police said officers in marked and unmarked cars were out across the region this week ready to catch motorists flouting the new rules as part of a week-long crackdown in conjunction with road safety charity, Think!
Drivers who are now caught using a hand-held phone while driving will receive six points and a £200 fine.
And drivers who have had their licence for less than two years and receive six points will have to resit their test.
Police said the offer of a driver awareness course had been suspended for this week so anyone caught by police will be immediately fined and given six points.
Chief Insp Craig Clifton, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “One second is all it takes to lose focus and in that one second, your life could change forever.
“Taking your eyes off the road to check a text, or change a song on your phone, or send a picture, could have devastating consequences.
“The increased penalties we will be enforcing during this week and beyond reflect how truly dangerous using your mobile phone behind the wheel is.
“Is it really worth the fine and points on your licence?
“New drivers, is it worth losing your full licence?
“I’d argue it isn’t and I’d urge all motorists to think twice before using a hand-held phone.
“For this week of action, there will be an increased police presence on South Yorkshire’s roads and we will be using video cameras to capture any potential criminal offences.”