Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is considering doubling the penalty for using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.

National newspaper reports following a Westminster lunch suggest that after police lobbying Mr McLoughlin is considering a suggestion that offenders should be handed six points on their licence rather than the present three.

Mr McLoughlin is reported as saying that he wanted to end the “appalling” number of deaths and serious injuries in crashes where a hand-held telephone was being used.

In 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, driving while using a mobile phone was recorded as a contributory factor to some 23 fatalities and 74 serious injury incidents. It has been illegal to since December 2003 to use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.