The UK Government is looking to ban the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving in an attempt to reduce the number of road accidents.
It claims research proves that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident if they are using a mobile phone.
The Department for Transport claims it has come under considerable pressure from safety organisations and the public to ban the use of phones by drivers.
The proposals outlined today would make it an offence for drivers to use a hand-held mobile phone except when the vehicle is parked with its engine switched off.
The ban would apply even if a vehicle was paused at traffic lights or stopped in a temporary traffic jam or in very slow moving traffic.
Drivers would still be allowed to use hands-free mobile phones. Passengers would not be subject to the new legislation.
Those caught could face fines of up to £2,500.
Launching the consultation Road Safety Minister, David Jamieson said: "We know that driving a vehicle whilst using a hand-held mobile phone is dangerous.
"We are therefore consulting widely on introducing a specific offence of driving while using a hand-held mobile phone.
This should leave no-one in any doubt that we are serious about the dangers that this practice presents to drivers and all road users," he said.