A police campaign to stop drivers using their mobile phones in the car has been backed by Hertfordshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner.

Hertfordshire Police's Chief Constable Andy Bliss has ordered a month-long operation throughout December to target people on the phone at the wheel.

David Lloyd, the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “Dangerous driving is a key concern for me. It is one of the most talked-about safety issues across the country and affects so many people.

“Quite rightly, they worry how safe the roads in Hertfordshire are for them and their families.

“Everyone has the right to use public roads without fear for their safety and confident that the constabulary is enforcing the law and keeping the highways safe.

“You will be hearing more from me on this issue, including how you can have a direct say in tackling unsafe driving on roads where you live.”

The Operation Callback campaign runs alongside the nationwide annual Christmas drink-drive campaign and will also clamp down on other driving offences such as not wearing a seatbelt.

It has been backed by Hertfordshire County Council and road safety charity Brake.

From June 2011 to June 2012, 34 collisions in Hertfordshire that resulted in serious injury or death were as a result of people using their phone while driving.

Analysts, however, believe the figure could be far higher as drivers tend to not admit to the crime.

Stuart Pile, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our highways teams and the fire and rescue service are called all too often to collisions that could have been easily avoided if drivers hadn't been distracted by a mobile phone.

“Is making a phone call or texting really so important that you're willing to risk your or another person's life?”