PUNISHMENTS for people caught driving while using mobile phones may be toughened up in time.

A traffic policeman believes the Government will change the law once people get used to the new legislation, which bans them from using hand-held mobile phones while driving.

At the moment, the punishment is a £30 fixed penalty fine.

But Sgt Andy Addy, of Huddersfield traffic police, said he believed the punishments will get stricter.

"I think that in time the law will change so it becomes an endorseable offence and people will have penalty points put on their driving licences."

He believed the number of motorists using mobile phones while driving had dropped since the law changed at the end of last year.

Up to now, police have been mainly warning people they catch using mobile phones at the wheel.

"The chances of people being warned as opposed to receiving a fixed penalty ticket are now diminishing as people get used to the law," said Sgt Addy.

If people using mobile phones are deemed to be putting others at risk they face being charged with the more serious offence of driving with undue care and attention.

Sgt Addy said van and lorry drivers were still the worst offenders. He also reminded people who were supervising learner-drivers they were not allowed to use mobile phones.

He added: "People must also think where they are stopping to answer the phone when it rings.

"We have come across cars stopped on bends or next to double white lines in the middle of the road, which causes a danger to others."

Sgt Addy said: "As time moves on, the mobile phone law will be treated the same as the seatbelt law by drivers.

"There will be some who abide by it and some who don't.

" We will be looking for those who don't."