Throughout January unmarked police cars will be used to crackdown on Merseyside  motorists not wearing a seat belt or driving while using their mobile phones.

Last year more than 6,000 drivers were issued with penalties for failing to wear a seat belt and 4,000 were detected using their mobile phones while driving. 

Sergeant Paul Mountford said: "Merseyside Police is committed to reducing the number of people killed or injured on our roads in 2013 and we are determined to target motorists who flout the law and recklessly endanger lives.

"This week will see more cars on our roads as people return to work and children go back to school and I appeal to drivers to be aware of your responsibilities on the roads.

"A lack of concentration because you are using your mobile phone can have severe consequences for yourself and others and by simply spending two-to-three seconds putting on a seat belt you greatly reduce the risk of serious injury if involved in a crash.

"During January we are adopting a zero tolerance approach and will be targeting hot spot areas to crackdown on drivers committing these type of offences.

"Our officers will be on the roads in unmarked cars so I urge you to drive responsibly."

Anyone found using a mobile phone while driving or not wearing their seatbelt is liable for a £60 fine and three penalty points.

If a motorist is found to have been using a mobile at the time of an accident they could be charged with dangerous driving.