Canterbury residents are the most likely in New Zealand to be caught using a cellphone while driving, according to new figures released by police.
Since the law banning cellphone use was introduced in 2009, some 28,549 people have been issued with a ticket for calling or texting on their mobile while driving. The use of hands-free mobiles for phone calls is allowed.
Latest figures show that 11,000 people have been issued with a ticket for the offence since November last year and of those, 2500 were handed out in Canterbury.
Senior Sergeant Scott Richardson says about 10 infringements are handed out daily in his region.
Mr Robertson says Canterbury is one of the biggest police districts in New Zealand and has 85 officers dedicated to catching offending drivers.
The figures show the number of people caught using their phones illegally while driving is increasing each year.
Superintendent Carey Griffiths says distracted drivers are becoming as important to tackle as speed and alcohol use.
Police will be taking part in a nationwide blitz to stop cellphone use while driving next week.