The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the government to implement new measures and to up its level of enforcement surrounding the dangerous use of mobile phones by motorists on the nation's roads.

Responding to the announcement earlier this week of a doubling of the penalties for those found guilty of operating a vehicle while using a hand-held device, the FTA welcomed the fact that offenders will now face fines of up to £200 and six points on their licence.

FTA head of driver and vehicle licensing policy Ian Gallagher stated that it is a positive development to see the consequences of this illegal behaviour become much tougher for offenders, but added that more still needs to be done to stamp out this dangerous and antisocial behaviour.

"Without enforcement, increasing the fines and penalties could have little impact on habitual users," he argued.

A zero tolerance approach to this type of offence is therefore now required, with more officers on the roads and police forces across the UK being given the resources needed to effectively clamp down on this problem.

Ben Robb, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, adds: "The latest smartphones can be a real distraction for anyone, whatever the situation in which they are used. Drivers must therefore be aware of the risks they face to both themselves and others when using a mobile phone while at the wheel."