And it has emerged that more than 200 people have been killed by drivers distracted by their devices in the last 10 years.
Grieving families say current proposals to increase the punishment by just one more penalty point and hiking the fine by £50 are not tough enough.Confronted by angry MPs, Mr Grayling “I am very clear that this is an unacceptable practice.
“It is happening far too often.
“It’s one in which we intend to unveil shortly tough action on it.”
A source close to the Transport Secretary added: “He is looking at tougher penalties”.
Campaigners want ministers to enforce the same punishment for drink driving – a ban and up to six months in jail.
Studies have found that talking on a phone or sending text messages while behind the wheel are as dangerous as being over the legal alcohol limit.
Drivers caught using a hand-held mobile at the wheel currently receive three points on their licence and an automatic £100 fine.New research by the RAC found illegal use of mobile phones by drivers is rocketing, with almost a third admitting to using a hand-held device compared to just 8% in 2014.
Former Labour Cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw told Mr Grayling the current planned punishment hike was insufficient.
Mr Bradshaw insisted of the minister: “Do you accept that a £55 increase in the already paltry fine is a totally inadequate response to this deadly menace on our roads?”