Thames Valley Police have gone under-cover this week in an effort to stop motorists who are using their mobile phones while driving.

This was part of an operation carried out from February 15 to February 17 in conjunction with Hampshire Constabulary’s Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit.

In the three-day operation, over 30 drivers were stopped for using their phones at the wheel on the key strategic road networks across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.

Using a bus, donated by Stagecoach, officers observed motorists in their vehicles. If anyone was seen to be using a mobile phone or not in proper control of their vehicle, the officers contacted nearby colleagues who pulled the driver over.

On Tuesday, ten drivers were stopped for using a mobile phone and four for not being in proper control of their vehicle on the A40 and A34 around Oxford.

Wednesday saw another ten motorists stopped for using a mobile phone, three for insecure loads and two for not being in proper control.

Finally, on Thursday, 14 drivers were stopped for using a mobile phone, six for insecure loads and three for not being in proper control of a vehicle.

Although hands free devices are still permitted within a vehicle, new laws outline that it should be in a cradle and mustn’t block your view of the road ahead.

The Highway Code, road safety and vehicle rules have outlined: “You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted and you can be prosecuted."

Sergeant Dave Hazlett, of the Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit said: “This operation has shown that whilst the majority of motorists are being safe, a small minority are still choosing to use their mobile phones when driving.

“Research has shown that you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision and be less likely to notice and react to hazards in time by the distraction that mobile devices cause.

“Thank you to our partners Stagecoach and National Highways for their support in helping us to carry out this operation.”