PEOPLE who use their mobile phones while driving are in for a shock - and a fine.
Traffic police across Kirklees are having a major clampdown on the problem which can have devastating consequences.
People countrywide have been killed by drivers using their mobile phones - some of them while sending text messages - and the problem has led to nasty accidents here.
At the moment the offence is punished with a \'a330 on-the-spot fine, but the law is likely to be beefed up this summer to \'a360 plus three penalty points.
That's why police are now going to get the message home and they are expecting to be handing out a lot of fines.
Extra funding from within the force means officers will be out and about for the next few weeks focusing on catching wayward motorists who keep using mobile phones at the wheel.
A study done recently by the AA showed that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident while using a mobile phone when driving.
Sgt Dean Taylor from Kirklees North traffic police said: "Not only is it illegal to use a mobile phone without a proper hands-free kit while driving, it's also extremely dangerous.
"Dialling while driving can cause motorists to take their eyes off the road and lose concentration - and texting is even worse.
"We are always on the lookout for people who use their mobile phones while driving, but for a while designated officers will be targeting them specifically."
And he revealed that some will be in unmarked cars so the drivers have no chance of spotting them.
Many of the patrols will be carried out at the busiest times of the day on the roads.
Sgt Taylor stressed that mobile phones are seized after crashes to check if the drivers were using them at the time. He added: "No phone call is so important it needs to be answered while you are driving.
"Simply let it ring and then return the call when you stop."
As part of the same blitz, Kirklees Council is taking the initiative into schools, displaying warning signs for drivers near schools designed by pupils.
They will also be distributing posters and stickers to raise awareness among parents.
Clr Martyn Bolt, Kirklees Cabinet member for Highways, said: "If everyone upheld the law, our roads would be a much safer place."