KIRKLEES Council is backing a national campaign to publicise new tougher penalties for using hand-held phones while driving.
The new legislation came into force today.
From now on drivers who are caught will get a £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence. This could also increase insurance costs.
Research by Direct Line insurance has shown that using a mobile phone while driving means that drivers are four times more likely to have a crash.
But a survey by the motoring group the RAC revealed that despite this risk 40% of drivers admit to using mobile phones while driving.
Clr Martyn Bolt, Kirklees Cabinet Member for environment and transport matters,, said: "Nine years ago I raised my concerns about the use of hand-held mobile communications equipment, long before mobile phones were used as much.
"Kirklees even worked with an electronics firm to develop a hands-free kit for taxi and private hire vehicles.
"Sadly it wasn't accepted by the trade.
"As I travel round the district I am amazed at how many drivers who still use their mobile in their hands.
"They are risking a fine, losing their licence or even worse."
To support the campaign Kirklees is sending information leaflets and posters to taxi firms, transport operators and large firms, to try to help stamp out mobile phone use when driving.
Car road fund licence holders are also available free to the public.
The council is also putting up adverts on main roads to remind drivers not to phone and to draw their attention to the new penalties they face if they do.
Anybody wanting copies of the free poster, leaflet or licence holder should ring Freefone 0800 731 8765.