More than 2,100 tickets have been issued to Cheshire motorists caught using mobile phones while driving.

Latest figures for 2016 were unveiled as Cheshire Police joined other forces across the UK in a campaign to target phone use by drivers.

Throughout this week, officers will also focus on educating drivers about the dangers of driving whist using a hand held device.

Thirty-four people have died in road traffic collisions in Cheshire so far in 2016.

And estimates suggest handheld mobile phones are a contributory factor in at least one in four collisions.

Those caught driving while using a mobile faces a £100 fine and three penalty points.

It will also result in a large car insurance rise, and some could lose their licence and job.

Insp Steve Griffiths, from the Cheshire Roads Policing Team, said: “As a senior investigator I’ve dealt with many serious and fatal collisions.

“And in recent years I’ve found increasingly more of these incidents have involved mobile phones.

“Dealing with such cases is heart-wrenching, and the hardest part is explaining to someone that a loved one has died because someone felt a phone call or text message was more important than a life.”

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Road safety is one of my priorities and it is pleasing to see the work the Roads policing team is undertaking to help make Cheshire roads safer.

“I have great admiration for the work undertaken by our family liaison officers, who have the heartbreaking role of informing families their loved ones have died.

“However, much of their work could be entirely avoidable if motorists paid more attention to the road, rather than their mobile phones.”

Insp Griffiths added: “This operation is not just about issuing tickets.

“It’s also about educating motorists about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving to help prevent tragedies occurring.

“My advice is simply, if you’re driving a car, concentrate on the road and not your mobile phone.

“It could be the difference between life and death.”

Updates on the week-long campaign will be issued though Cheshire Police social media channels.

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