Road safety campaigners have warned that mobile phone distraction will be the biggest killer on Britain's roads by 2015, even over-taking drunk driving. The amount of motorists using their phone to text, make phone-calls and visit social media sites whilst driving has risen substantially, with distracted drivers likely to cause more and more accidents as a result. Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin last week floated the idea of doubling the current penalty for mobile phone use to six points on a motorist's licence. However, the new law wouldn't come into effect until the next Parliament at the earliest, and safety campaigners are still pressing for a more severe penalty of a one-year ban. Department for Transport figures show that 378 accidents involving mobile phones were reported in 2012, which was higher than any year on record. Those accidents led to 548 casualties, including 17 deaths. Interestingly, motoring experts have said that this figure represents a false impression of the true scale of the problem, with many cases involving phones instead being classed as an 'in-vehicle distraction'. In-vehicle distractions led to 9,012 accidents and 196 deaths between 2010 and 2012. If the two sets of figures are combined, the death toll reaches 213, only 27 less than for drunk driving. With the current steep decline of drink drive deaths, mobile phone distraction is expected to become the biggest cause of death on the roads by sometime in 2015. Simon Marsh, the managing director of SmartWitness, an incident video camera firm, said: 'The problem is far more widespread than Department of Transport believes and driver distraction due to mobiles will soon be the biggest single cause of death on the roads. 'We believe a large number of serious and fatal accidents are wrongly classed as in-vehicle distraction when the specific cause of the accident was down to mobile phone use.î He added: 'The only real deterrent is a one-year ban from driving for anyone caught texting at the wheel. It's clear that the current legislation isn't working and an increase to six points for mobile offenders will not be enough to stop the death toll. "Lives are being ruined just for the reason that someone wants to send a text message whilst driving. The only message that should be sent is from government to motorists that this is not acceptable." The number of offenders using a mobile phone whilst driving has shot up in recent years. Recent research showed that between 2009 and 2012, the number of motorists caught using their mobile whilst driving rose from 1.2 per cent to 2.6. In 2012, 583,686 drivers were fined £60 and given three points on their licence, more than ten times higher than convictions for drink driving in the same period (which were measured 55,300).