More than 200 drivers a day were caught using their mobile phones illegally in the wake of a major crackdown.
Figures reveal police forces in Britain penalised almost 6,000 motorists for the offence in the four weeks after tougher punishments took effect, which is equivalent to one every seven minutes.
It includes 324 offences in Yorkshire and the Humber, with 149 in West Yorkshire.
Campaigners claimed today that the “worrying” findings suggest many drivers are ignoring repeated warnings about the dangers of using phones at the wheel despite a string of publicity campaigns and the risk of harsher sanctions.
From March 1, those caught have faced receiving six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous penalty of three points and £100.
The changes mean new drivers risk losing their licence for sending a single text.
Figures obtained following Freedom of Information requests show forces recorded 5,977 offences the four weeks after the clampdown was rolled out along with a huge campaign.
The actual figure is likely to be higher as seven forces did not provide figures and some cases may not have been logged when responses were issued.
The new figures have sparked calls for more investment in traffic policing to complement the tougher penalties.