From Tuesday 27 February, anyone in England and Wales who uses a hand-held mobile phone while driving faces a £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence.
Any driver found not to be in proper control of their vehicle while using a hands-free device can already be prosecuted and penalties range from fines to having their licence revoked.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, said “The BMA’s report on mobile phones in 2001 warned about the dangers of using any mobile phone while driving and we urged drivers not to use them.
“There is also a responsibility on employers not to call their staff if they know they are driving and not to pressurise their staff to keep their mobiles on.”
Research sponsored by hands-free firm Jabra found that 22% of businesses still do not have a policy covering in-car mobile use for company business.