MORE than 180 motorists were caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel during a week-long crackdown by officers across Hampshire.

A total of 186 drivers were stopped as part of a nationwide initiative to make our roads safer, while a further nine were reported for not being in proper control of their vehicle.

Of those stopped, 78 per cent were men, and 70 per cent were aged over 25 years.

During the week of action, 90 per cent of drivers stopped were given fixed penalty notices, two per cent were reported for summons, and eight per cent were given verbal warnings.

On Wednesday, Hants Road Policing posted on Twitter and said 20 motorists had been stopped for using their phones behind the wheel in one morning.

Of those 20 stopped, the tweet said, eight were lorry drivers from outside the UK.

The tweet ended: "Maybe we need posters on the boats/train?"

Officers took to Twitter again last Friday after stopping a driver for using their mobile on the M27 eastbound, between Junctions 3 and 4.

They tweeted that the motorist had been thrown off a mobile course at Christmas for being on their phone too much, adding: "I can't write my thoughts..."

In January, before the change in legislation, officers caught 220 people using their mobile phones while driving, and six for not being in proper control of their vehicle. The force has since seen around a 15 per cent decrease in mobile phone use behind the wheel.

Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard said: “Although we have seen a small decrease in the number of people using their mobile phones whilst driving, it is still disappointing and shocking that people will take that risk.

“That moment’s inattention has proven to be the cause for many collisions, some with fatal consequences.

“We all need to take the responsibility to remove the temptation of looking at your phone whilst driving.

“You can do this easily by turning your phone off and putting it in the glove box.

“Please let’s not have another avoidable death or injury on our roads, it’s not worth the risk.”