A CRACKDOWN is under way in a bid to stop drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel.

Dorset Police officers are stepping up patrols this week after revealing there have been at least 60 casualties in collisions as a direct result of someone being on their phone while driving since 2012.

They said: “All this week we’re stepping up patrols to enforce mobile phone laws to prevent further casualties and deaths on our roads. #DontRiskIt”

On Monday the Daily Echo reported on the death of 24-year-old Aaron Dycer, who was using a hand-held mobile phone when his VW Golf collided head-on with a Subaru Impreza near Sherborne on August 11.

A Bournemouth inquest heard he was on the phone to his girlfriend, who heard the crash which killed him.

At the opening of the inquest into his death, Dorset Coroner Rachael Griffin said: “It would appear that he was using his mobile phone while driving.

“If any good can come of his death it is to warn others of the fatal consequences of driving while using a hand-held mobile phone.”

The Daily Echo has been campaigning against drivers using mobile phones while driving for several years.

We have pictured hundreds of drivers using their phones and featured them in galleries in a bid to highlight road safety issues.

Those caught on camera have included private motorists as well as people on business including van and lorry drivers and a coach driver.

People have also been pictured putting on make-up and even eating a yoghurt with a spoon with no hands on the wheel.

The long-running campaign has been backed by a police officer behind a national road safety campaign.

Sergeant Neil Dewson-Smyth, who is behind the national Don’t Stream and Drive campaigns, contacted the Daily Echo after seeing one of our galleries on Twitter.

He said: “I think it is a good idea to highlight motorists who use their phones. I firmly believe that we have to keep raising awareness of this danger in order to stop it.

“There are some people using their phones who haven’t really thought about the risks they are taking.”

Police Sergeant Mark Farrow, of the Dorset Police No Excuse team, said: “As an officer who deals with the often tragic aftermath when a driver is distracted at the wheel, I would like to make a personal plea to the driving public who think it’s OK to use a mobile phone while driving to seriously consider their actions.”