ACCORDING TO FIGURES released by NSW Police this week, over 40,000 motorists have been fined in the past year for using their mobile phones while driving - nearly double the 25,115 fines handed out in 2005.
Of those motorists fined in 2005, 8734 have reoffended in the years since, and 1123 have even been caught out a third time. The tally for the past five years has reached more than 134,000 fines.
Acting Traffic Commander Mick Fuller told The Daily Telegraph that mobile phones are often a factor in fatal crashes.
"People (aren't) getting the message. We conduct a complex investigation after every fatal collision, one of the things we look at is mobile usage," Mr Fuller said.
"We know mobile phones have been used in some fatal accidents."
More than 54,000 drivers under 30 years old have been penalised in the past five years for using their mobile phones while driving.
Mr Fuller said that for the cost of a hands-free mobile phone kit - often less than half the cost of a fine - drivers would save money and lives.
An overnight blitz by NSW Police late last year saw over 1000 motorists caught talking or texting while driving.
Last week, NRMA Insurance released the results of research into the use of mobile phones at the wheel. The figures showed that drivers looked at their phone an average of 38 times while composing a one-sentence message, driving at 60km/h.