The number of motorists fined for driving while on the phone has plummeted four fold in just three years fuelling fears police are turning a blind eye.
Just fewer than 30,000 drivers were handed a £100 fine last year after being caught behind the wheel while using a mobile phone.
The figure contrasts sharply with the 123,000 people fined in 2011 and punishments have steadily fallen year on year since.
It suggests police may be letting an increasing number of culprits off with a verbal warning.
Road safety campaigners said while an improvement in hands free technology may be partly behind the fall, there is also a risk that a lack of police officers on the roads means offenders are avoiding being caught.