DRIVERS are openly flouting the law banning them from using mobile phones while behind the wheel.
Police have warned the idiots they are putting people's lives at risk.
Using a mobile phone while driving became an offence in December, 2003 - but people can be seen breaking the law day in, day out on Huddersfield's roads.
The Government aims to combat the problem and legislation is now going through Parliament which will double the punishment to a £60 fine, plus the introduction of three penalty points on the offender's driving licence.
A spokesman for Huddersfield traffic police said: "Things have got so bad that people are driving past marked police cars while openly using their mobile phones.
"It is an horrendous problem.
"If we see them we stop and give them a £30 fixed-penalty ticket.
"I stopped one driver the other day who was adamant he did not know it was an offence to use a mobile phone while driving.
"We don't give any warnings any more. We give tickets instead."
The spokesman said he hoped matters would improve when the fine was doubled and people faced the prospect of penalty points on their licences.
Twelve points means a ban.
But he added: "It seems to be ordinary members of the public with this attitude that they can pick and choose what laws they abide by - and using mobile phones while driving doesn't seem to be one they want to adhere to."
But he warned that if they cause an accident while using a mobile phone they could face serious consequences - up to causing death by dangerous driving.
Police will seize the phone as evidence - and can find out exactly when it was being used.
The officer added: "Things have got quite ridiculous. The change in the law can't come soon enough.
"It is very dangerous. If you are using a mobile phone you will have to take your hand off the steering wheel to change gear or steer around corners.
"People are answering calls without making any attempt to pull over and stop.
"No call is that important. Just let the phone ring and then call the person back when you've found a safe place to stop.
"Drivers think they can get away with it - but they won't if we see them."
One lorry driver featured on the front page of The Examiner now faces disciplinary action.
He was caught with both hands off the wheel, making a mobile phone call while driving along Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, one of the busiest roads in Kirklees.
Now he is in big trouble with bosses at his firm, Ravensthorpe company M and B Haulage and Waste Paper.
Operations manager Michael Guy said: "We run a reputable company and drivers know they must not use their mobile phones while driving."
Managing director Clive Hoyland said: "The driver was not in proper control of his vehicle and we will be looking to take disciplinary action."