One woman motorist was caught “streaming” a film of herself while driving, revealed a police traffic officer on Radio 5 Live, who said they are catching more than 10 people an hour on their mobiles.
Many caught by police volunteer to attend a course run by the TTC Group, which educates 330,000 road users each year to reduce casualties.
“Drivers who use a mobile phone are four times more likely to crash, injure or kill themselves and other people,” said TTC Group director, Alan Prosser.
They are much less aware of what’s happening on the road around them, reactions become slower and they take longer to brake and stop, he said.
“People don’t see road signs, they tailgate the car in front, their lane position is out and they don’t keep to a steady speed,” Prosser added. “They must realise the dangers and put their mobiles out of reach while driving.”
A Freedom of Information request to the DVLA from the RAC found more than 600 people were caught using their mobile phones three times – and one driver five times – from 2012 to 2015.
A total of 42,950 motorists were caught by police last year, down 37 per cent, for not being in control of a vehicle – which includes mobile phone offences.
The DVLA figures show that although 238,694 people were caught driving while distracted, at least once in the four-year period, just 284 received a ban as a result.
The figures were published by the BBC just days after a lorry driver was jailed for 10 years when he crashed, killing a mum and three children by ploughing into their stationary car at 50 mph in August.
The court had heard he had taken his eyes of the road for as long as 45 seconds to look at his mobile.