Police in County Durham have warned drivers about a £200 fine, as officers step up patrols and have warned that more motorists could face these punishments. 

This week, officers from the police force's roads and armed policing teams will make a renewed effort to stop motorists in the region using their mobile phone while driving. 

Ahead of their week-long campaign to make drivers aware of the dangers of using their mobile phones, Durham Police are encouraging people to make a change that could save a life. 

After warning drivers of the dangers that could include killing someone when they're not paying attention to the road, the police warn that those who use their phone could face £200 fines and six points on their driving licence. 

Darlington and Stockton Times: A police office on a double-decker busA police office on a double-decker bus (Image: DURHAM POLICE)

A spokesperson for Durham Police's Roads and Armed Policing said: "Anyone caught breaking the law on camera should expect a fine in the post.

"Using your mobile whilst driving has been recognised as a huge contributory factor in fatal and serious injury collisions.

"You can avoid this by simply putting your phone out of sight such as in the glove box, on airplane mode or do not disturb."

Darlington and Stockton Times: An officer taking a picture of someone on their phoneAn officer taking a picture of someone on their phone (Image: DURHAM POLICE)

As part of the campaign, officers will be deployed on double-decker buses and will record offences using specialist equipment.

Inspector Kevin Salter, from Durham Roads and Armed Policing unit added: “Be in no doubt, you can kill someone by taking your eyes off the road for just a second.

“It is so easy to get distracted, but we would like to remind drivers that the consequences are real and irreversible.

“None of us want to have to deliver another death message to another family whose loved one has died in a collision which could have been avoided.

“Our message is always clear - Please, put the phone down while driving.”

Officers are also encouraging bus passengers themselves to share any journey footage they take of drivers flouting the laws.

The footage, which should clearly show the number plate of the vehicle concerned, can be uploaded onto the Operation Snap portal to support the prosecution of illegal drivers.

New stickers containing QR codes to help bus passengers send their footage swiftly will be installed on buses in the coming weeks.