Hundreds of Tayside motorists have been caught multiple times for driving while distracted, including on their mobile phone, shocking new figures show.
Over 350 people living in Courier Country have been given penalty points twice in three years for breaking code CU80 under the Road Traffic Act 1988.
A further 25 drivers have been rapped for committing the same offence on three separate occasions between October 29 2012 and December 2015, according to new data obtained by The Courier.
Code CU80 covers a range of breaches in requirements regarding the control of a vehicle. It is the section used to penalise people who use their mobile phone when behind the steering wheel, but can relate to other forms of distraction.
Concern has also been raised as it emerged the number of people being caught has dropped year-on-year, despite separate data showing a rise in the number of people illegally using their mobile phone when driving.
Figures from the RAC show almost one in three (31%) motorists used a handheld phone behind the wheel this year across the UK, compared to just 8% in 2014.
In 2013, 2,842 people were caught in Courier Country, down to just 1,143 in 2015.
Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East Region, said: “If we are to take the RAC and DVLA figures at face value, then it would appear that many offenders who openly admit breaking the law are simply not being caught.
“We know Police Scotland is under intense pressure due to budget cuts, and may not have the resources to adequately combat this problem. However, drivers themselves must also take responsibility for their actions. It is well documented that the use of a mobile phone whilst driving is very distracting and can be a direct cause of serious and fatal accidents.
“The fact that 350 drivers in Tayside and Fife have been caught more than once is very worrying indeed, and it may be time to consider tougher penalties for repeat offenders.”
In total, over 6,000 residents of Fife, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Dundee received points on their driving licence in the three year period because of code violations.
The RAC claimed the use of handheld mobiles was “the biggest road safety concern among motorists today”.
Every DD, KY and PH postcode area is home to at least one person who has been caught for the offence.
KY11, the area covering parts of Dunfermline, Inverkeithing and Rosyth, has the highest number of offenders, with 590 drivers penalised.
The PH17 area, which covers sections of Pitlochry, Rannoch and Bridge of Gaur, sits at the other end of scale with just one offence being recorded in three years.
A driver using a mobile phone contributed to 22 fatal and 75 serious road accidents across Great Britain last year, government figures show.
Drivers are currently allowed to use their phones through hands free equipment, or if they’re making 999 call in a genuine emergency where it is unsafe or impractical for them to stop first.
Anyone stopped for a CU80 driving offence is issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), which is an offer of three penalty points and £60 fine.
A recent UK Government consultation on increasing the penalties for such offences showed 94% of respondents backed both an increase in the FPN for drivers caught on their phones.