The penalty for using your phone while driving should be quadrupled, as the fine does not stop offenders from using their phone behind the wheel, says latest survey.
The study, carried out by the RAC, suggests that more than half (52%) agree that drivers should be fined £450 for using their phone while driving and that the current £100 penalty is an ineffective deterrent.
2,100 motorists took part in the survey, showing that two thirds said the fine should increase to £200, and one third said £450 would be the only option to make people think twice before committing the crime.
A consultation on harsher penalties for drivers caught took place in March, and the proposals are due to be published by the Department for Transport. It is expected that the current fine will rise to £150, and a driver would be faced with four penalty points rather than three on their license.
Amongst the drivers surveyed by the RAC, mobile phone use was the top complaint. A tenth of respondents said that an instant ban should be given out to anyone caught 'dialing and driving'.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "There is a very strong feeling from law-abiding motorists that something needs to be done to make drivers stop using their phones while driving.
"But while people want the penalties for committing this offence to be beefed up there is also an acceptance that nothing is likely to change due primarily to a lack of enforcement."
76% of the motorists surveyed believe that using a handheld phone while driving puts lives in danger with 68% saying they wish there were more police officers patrolling the road to enforce the law.
Williams states: "From 2010 to 2015 England and Wales experienced a 27% decline in the number of road police officers. The number of fixed penalty notices issued for using a handheld phone while driving reduced dramatically from a high 125,500 to 52,400 in 2012."
In line with this, our own research has found that motorists believe there is little chance of being caught by a police officer (as opposed to a camera) for a driving offence."