From today (Wednesday, March 1) penalties for Cheshire motorists using a mobile phone while driving will double.
Anyone caught with a handheld device while at the wheel will now face a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.
There will be no option to complete an offender training course as an alternative to points.
Cheshire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “We’re here to make our roads safer and we will use all of the tools and powers available to us to help us achieve our goal.
“The message is clear; driving whilst using a mobile phone is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in Cheshire and anyone who breaks the law will be dealt with robustly.”
The change could have major ramifications for young drivers and people who have held their licence for less than two years.
They now face the prospect of having their licence revoked on their first offence.
ACC Martland said: “Driving whilst using a mobile phone is unacceptable, as they can distract drivers, which can put the lives of motorists and pedestrians at risk.
“Our roads policing team deal serious and fatal collisions on a daily basis, which can be harrowing and traumatic, but families are left to deal with the consequences for many years.”
So far this financial year the Cheshire Constabulary has issued 2,463 tickets to motorists caught driving while using a mobile phone - up from 2,062 tickets last year.
Drivers will still have the option to attend court to contest the offence, however if the court rules against the defendant the penalty could be greater.
Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “Driving whilst using a mobile phone is dangerous and in my opinion there is simply no excuse.
“I’m sure the majority a people would agree that it’s not worth putting lives at risk simply to take a phone call.
“I hope the new legislation acts as a strong deterrent to motorists who continue to decide to ignore the law.”