Police in Suffolk are increasing patrols across the county as part of a national campaign to stop drivers from using mobile phones behind the wheel.

The aim of the campaign is to change the behaviour of drivers and highlight the consequences of using a mobile phone by driving, which has been illegal since December 2003. 

Using a mobile phone refers to those making calls as well as checking texts and emails or changing a playlist. 

The campaign starts on Monday, February 26 and will run until Sunday, March 10.

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Chief Inspector Vicky McParland said: "Mobile phone use whilst driving is one of the 'Fatal Four' offences

"It is also important to recognise that although legal, hands-free use of your mobile is not without risk. Any distraction in a vehicle will increase your chance of being involved in a collision."

Officers in Suffolk will use marked and unmarked vehicles to target these offences and drivers committing these offences will automatically receive six points on their driving licence as well as a £200 fine. 

New drivers could have their licence revoked.

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East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim PassmoreSuffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore (Image: Newsquest)

Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: "It absolutely horrifies me when I see drivers on their phones, but sadly we still see it far too often. 

"I implore every driver tempted to use their phone whilst behind the wheel please, do not do it. It is against the law and if you are caught you will face a fine and points on your licence but more importantly you could kill or seriously injure someone, or yourself.

"I know I have said it before, but the way to improve safety on our roads is for every driver to remember the fatal four and put your phone out of reach, belt up, watch your speed and don't drink or take drugs if you are going to drive, that really shouldn't be so difficult."