POLICE are staging a clampdown on dodgy drivers who flout basic rules of the road.

Officers have been patrolling local roads this week on a special mission to target motorists who break the law by speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt or using their mobile phone while they are behind the wheel.

Mobile safety cameras are being used as part of the week-long crackdown, which started on Monday.

Police have said a driver is four times more likely to crash if using a mobile, as reaction speeds are halved.

Chief Inspector Darren Faulds added: “We want to interact with drivers through education to influence their behaviour but, where appropriate, we will enforce these core road traffic offences with the appropriate penalties.

“My message to all drivers is quite clear – don’t risk it.”

It is estimated that one in three people killed in vehicles were not wearing a seatbelt at the time.

Ch Insp Faulds said: “Half of those could have been saved if they had worn one, which is why we take this matter so seriously.”

Fines for failing to wear a seatbelt can reach £500, while a £200 fine and six penalty points can be applied for using hand-held mobile phones while driving or sitting in traffic, with higher penalties depending on circumstances.

The new campaign comes as results from a Transport Scotland and Department of Transport survey of more than 14,000 drivers found mobile phone use has risen slightly, both in moving traffic and at traffic lights.

In 2014, 1.6% of drivers observed in moving traffic were using a hand-held mobile, which the latest survey indicates had risen to 2% in 2017.

Use among drivers at traffic-light junctions was up from 1.7% to 2.5% in the same period.

Increased use of the devices to make and receive calls is behind the rise, as in-hand use, such as texting, has not changed for car drivers and fallen for drivers of “other vehicles,” such as vans, lorries and buses.

The survey also observed seatbelt use in 5,391 vehicles and found increasing use among drivers in Scotland – up from 96.4% in 2014 to 97.3%.

Car drivers are more likely to wear a seatbelt than drivers in the “other vehicles” category, at 98.6% to 92.5% respectively.