NEARLY 20 drivers using a mobile phone at the wheel were caught on camera by the Daily Echo in a little over two hours.

This newspaper periodically publishes photo galleries of offending motorists as part of a long-running campaign to highlight the dangers of using a phone while driving.

Our photographer spotted 17 people using their mobiles at the wheel while travelling along the A338 Wessex Way in Bournemouth, and captured one driver on camera after two minutes.

The driver of a double-decker coach from Imperial Coaches Ltd was seen with a phone in his hand as he drove along the 40mph road.

Bournemouth Echo:

A United Taxis driver was also spotted using a phone, as well as a lorry driver for local firm Steve Perrins Supplies.

One van driver was spotted with both hands on his phone, instead of the wheel, while another holding his phone up to his mouth was wearing a shirt with 'Always Be Careful' on the sleeve.

Bournemouth Echo:

Using a phone at the wheel is still rife on the roads, despite the penalty points and fine doubling last year.

According to figures from Dorset Police, 263 fixed penalty notices were given to drivers using their phones between January and June this year.

Just over 100 appeared in court.

The force’s No Excuse team, which tackles road traffic offences, said they had seen “way too many people on their phones” in a Facebook post on Thursday.

They stopped an 18-tonne HGV driver who was using their mobile phone while on a roundabout.

It is illegal to hold and use a phone while driving. Motorists caught using their phones behind the wheel face six points on their licence and a £200 fine.

Bournemouth Echo:

When the Echo accompanied the No Excuse team on a recent patrol, PC Jim Spratt said a lot of young and new drivers were using their phones and, in doing so, losing their licence.

“It has a huge impact on their lives,” he said.

Police Sergeant Mark Farrow previously made a plea to the public via the Echo to “seriously consider their actions” if they think it is okay to use a mobile phone while driving.

“Nothing is more important than your safety and the safety of other road users and, while you think you can get away with it, it is vital that drivers realise they could kill someone.

“We are urging drivers to take responsibility for their actions and leave their phone alone.”