Over 700 people were caught using their phones while driving in the county last year.

The figures, gathered by Hertfordshire Constabulary working with joint forces, have prompted police to issue a warning to drivers to help avoid fatalities on the roads.

“Don’t be distracted, just drive” is the message from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit in support of a National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) campaign.

The police found more than 1,500 people were caught using their mobile phone while on the road across all three counties in 2018.

• Hertfordshire – 717

• Bedfordshire – 371

• Cambridgeshire – 483

It found 81 per cent of cases in Hertfordshire were men with an average aged band between 27 – 41-years-old.

Penalties for using a phone while driving could range from an automatic six points and £200 fine, to a court appearance, disqualification and £1,000 penalty charge.

Drivers who passed their test within the last two years will lose their licence.

Sgt Ian Manley said: “There are serious and sometimes fatal consequences to using your phone whilst behind the wheel. I would ask all drivers to consider whether it is really worth it.

“The answer is of course no, so please turn your phone off, to do not disturb or put it where you won’t be distracted by it or tempted to pick it up.

“You are putting yourself and other road users in real danger if you use a mobile whilst driving. It takes just moments for a crash to happen if you are distracted.”