The recent introduction of harsher penalties to tackle mobile phone use while driving has not provided enough of a deterrent, according to new research by price comparison site The survey of over 1,000 individuals indicated more than half of motorists continue to make calls and texts or check social media while behind the wheel. In total, 2% of respondents admitted to texting while driving, 20% admitted to making calls and 6% to checking social media. The research also indicated that mobile phone usage increases significantly when motorists are stuck in traffic, with 66%, 37% and 18% respectively admitting to texting, checking social media and making calls. Only 37% of respondents agreed that the new, tougher penalty of six points and a £220 fine would stop them using their phones while driving. One in three of those surveyed also indicated that the fines should be higher in order to be considered an effective deterrent. One of the more concerning findings is that many motorists are unclear of rules around phone use while driving. One in six respondents, for example, believe they won't receive a fine if making a call while pulled over and their engine is running. Almost 19% believe that a fine is the only punishment if caught on the phone while driving. In reality, touching a mobile phone while driving _ even when using a hands-free device _ has been illegal since 2003. Data from 2015 shows 22 people were killed and 99 were seriously injured by collisions in which the driver using a mobile phone was ruled a contributory factor. EU research, meanwhile, has shown that distraction is a contributor in nearly 30% of collisions, and research from Transport Research Laboratory indicates that reaction times of drivers talking on a hands-free set are 50% slower than when driving under usual conditions. Scott Hamilton, managing director of, said: 'The Government's recent crackdown does not appear to be discouraging motorists to abide by the law and it's deeply concerning that so many are continuing to use their mobile phones when they are driving. 'It's clear that there is some confusion over what the fines apply to and the Government needs to do more to educate motorists about what constitutes a fine and points. It also looks like the new fines don't go far enough, to be a strong deterrent for motorists. 'It's great that Nissan has developed in-vehicle technology to block mobile phone signals. Its prototype, Signal Shield, is built into the arm rest of its Juke crossover vehicle and uses 19th century technology. 'The 'Faraday cage', uses material such as a wire mesh to shield its contents from electromagnetic fields. Drivers simply place their phones into the compartment to block out all cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals. In the US, the mobile phone network, AT&T has produced a free app, DriveMode which turns on when the vehicle is moving. It silences text message alerts and automatically replies to them. 'It would be useful if mobile phone networks in the UK used this type of app, or car manufacturers install hardware in vehicles that effectively 'blocks' signals to the phone. Other potential solutions involve software on the phone with a Bluetooth link to the vehicle, or motion sensing technology. 'The big problem is that many motorists aren't disciplined enough to turn off their phone when they get in the car and happy to take the risk. Preventing phone use in vehicles and removing the source of temptation altogether, may be the only way to tackle the problem.î