POLICE were running checks in Carlisle on Wednesday to ensure drivers were not using mobile phones at the wheel.

The operations were part of the National Police Chief Council’s campaign against using phones at the wheel.

Police officers are taking part in the NPCC National Mobile Phone Operation this month which aims to tackle the potentially fatal form of dangerous driving.

Officers on the streets of Carlisle issued one motorist with a ticket, six points on their license and a £200 fine for using a mobile phone whilst driving.

A spokesperson for Cumbria Constabulary said: “Driving whilst using a mobile phone and even a hands-free device could distract you from recognising and reacting to hazards.

“Whilst legal, hands-free can be just as distracting. The best place for your phone to not distract whilst driving is in the glove box or out of sight.”

The advice from the Cumbrian police force is simple: “You should only use your hand-held phone if you are safely parked or in an emergency to call 999 and you are unable to stop.”

Inspector Stephen Vickers from the mobile support group said “We see the devastating effects of those that have been distracted whilst driving whether that be by a mobile or other device.

“If you use your mobile whilst driving you are four times more likely to crash.

“Nothing is that urgent to risk your life or the life of others. If you do need to check your phone or take a call find a safe space to stop.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall has said using a phone at the wheel is a “selfish act” and “one of the biggest causes of fatal driving accidents in the UK alongside drink driving.”