Drivers are being urged to pay attention to imminent changes to mobile phone legislation.
The new laws, which come into effect next month, state that motorists cannot check notifications, unlock their devices, make, receive or reject a phone or internet based calls, or send, receive or upload oral or written content.
Other prohibited actions include: drafting a text message, accessing stored data such as books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlist, notes or messages, accessing the internet or using a camera attached to a device.
Drivers will face a £200 fine and six points on their licence from Friday 25 March when the new laws come into force.
Road users will still be able to make use of devices’ satellite navigation features, as long as they are properly secured in a cradle or appropriate holder.
Making or taking a hands-free call is not an offence in itself, but could lead to a criminal prosecution if it was later deemed to be a contributory factor in a collision.
Inspector Clare Gibson, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We know how tempting it can be to use your phone or respond to a call or notification whilst driving – but doing so can have very serious consequences.
“Using your phone whilst driving is against the law and these new laws being brought in next month could see people banned from driving as a result – particularly those who already have points on their licence.
“Please don’t make us have to knock on any more doors to tell people that their loved ones have been killed or seriously injured. Keep both hands in the wheel and give the road your full attention. That text, email or music change can always wait a little longer.”
Research suggests that many people who use a hands-free device believe it to be the safe option, but the reality is that they are actually four times more likely to be involved in a collision and are far less likely to notice and react to hazards.
A driver using their phone can also be impaired just as much as a drink driver, which is why hands free calls can and do lead to criminal prosecutions.
Whilst the new law is incredibly tough, there are some exemptions to the law including using a phone at a drive-through restaurant or a road toll when payment is being made.
Nottinghamshire Police is currently taking part in the National Fatal Four Campaign concentrating on enforcement of mobile phone usage which runs until Sunday 27 February.
Inspector Gibson added: “These new laws are being brought in to make our roads safer as phones offer so many distractions and we want the people of Nottinghamshire to know and those driving through the county that should you break the law you will be prosecuted.
“All it takes is one second of distraction for an accident to occur and for a someone whether that’s the driver or another motorists or pedestrian for them to be killed or seriously injured.
“The majority of drivers nowadays are abiding by the laws but may not realise it is against the law to be using their phone by the reasons stated.
“There are many ways to resist the temptation to use your phone behind the wheel including switching it off completely, placing it in the glove compartment or boot along with also downloading helpful apps to send a message that you’re driving.”