POLICE forces in Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are joining forces to stop people using mobile phones at the wheel.

The increase in law enforcement will run in line with the National Police Chief’s Council campaign from Monday, January 22 until Sunday, January 28.

It comes as figures from the Department for Transport showed that in 2016 32 people were killed in road traffic collisions where the driver of the vehicle was using their mobile phone.

Superintendent Andy Williams, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Whatever’s happening on your phone can wait, don’t risk it.

“Mobile phone use whilst driving remains one of the biggest concerns we hear about from the public. Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50 per cent slower than normal driving, so put your phone out sight in your bag or on the back seat and make sure you’re focussed on the road.

“We’ve released a video that shows how to put your phone into a mode that automatically lets anyone contacting you know you’re driving and therefore unable to take calls.

“There’s no excuse for using your mobile on the road. You could end up with points on your license and a fine, or for new drivers you could have your license taken away.”

Legislation introduced in March 2017 means those caught can receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine.

Chief Inspector Shirley Eden said: “This week, officers will be out and about across the region, stopping people who are using their mobiles whilst driving.

"We will be explaining to them the dangers of this and prosecuting where appropriate.”