MOTORISTS in Wiltshire have received among the fewest fines for using their mobiles behind the wheel in the country.

Wiltshire is alongside Avon and Somerset, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire with the fewest Fixed Penalty Notices handed out. 42 FPN were issued in Wiltshire compared to 228 in London Metropolitan and 181 in Cheshire per 1000 population in 2018, figures published by Money Barn show.

Wiltshire people are also the most likely to pay a ticket, with nearly three quarters of drivers paying when caught. Across the county, fixed penalty notices are only paid by 40 per cent of drivers, with just seven per cent of fines paid in Humberside in full.

However findings by the RAC in July revealed half of motorists still admit to using their mobile phone behind the wheel while stuck in traffic, despite facing six points on their licence and £200 fine.

A mobile phone ban came in two years ago after the number of accidents caused by drivers using their phone increased by 50 per cent between 2013 and 2017.

Now MPs have discussed banning hands free devices and helping police forces toughen up on the “entirely avoidable” tragedy of deaths or serious injuries from crashes caused by mobile phone use.

Joshua Harris from road safety charity Brake, said: “We welcome the calls from MPs in the Transport Committee to tackle the dangers of phone use behind the wheel. Using a phone whilst driving can impair you as much as driving drunk but stronger laws and tougher enforcement are needed to make it as culturally unacceptable as drink driving. All phone use behind the wheel is dangerous. “With in-vehicle phones becoming more prevalent and the law unclear on hands-free phone use, drivers must resist distraction. When behind the wheel, one moment’s inattention can result in catastrophic consequences and no phone call can ever be worth that risk.”

Three HGV supercabs have been patrolling motorways and A roads over the past 12 months and as part of Operation Tramline, officers recorded 68 drivers using their phone in Wiltshire.

Richard Leonard, from Highways England, said: “We introduced the three new HGV supercabs last year to help keep the roads safe and tackle dangerous driving by people who have either got into bad habits or are simply ignoring the law."