Extra police checkpoints aimed at cracking down on bad driving have already caught out several Wairarapa drivers.
Police launched their campaign against distracted drivers on Monday, with checkpoints in Masterton nabbing six drivers for using their cellphones and another four ticketed for registration, licence, seatbelt or warrant of fitness issues.
Senior Sergeant Gordon Crawley said that, as part of the national two-week campaign, Wairarapa officers would stage more checkpoints and random patrols to catch drivers using cellphones or other mobile devices.
"We will be paying particular attention to those people who are putting others' lives at risk by using mobile phones and other distractions."
Masterton police had ticketed drivers at two checkpoints, one at the Kuripuni roundabout and one at Chapel St in just an hour, and Mr Crawley said he was not surprised by the number of drivers caught using cellphones.
"You see it all the time when you go about your day-to-day life, so it wasn't a surprise that we had to issue those infringement tickets.
"People are aware that they shouldn't be doing it. But it can be too easy - the phone goes 'ping, ping' and you want to see who it is," he said.
"Maybe some drivers just see it as an acceptable risk."
Drivers caught using their cellphones or other electronic devices could be fined $80 and issued 20 demerit points.
The rule also applied to drivers who were stationary or queued up at intersections, Mr Crawley said.
"It's all about keeping alive and safe on our roads and the social cost of that, in terms of people being hospitalised or losing their lives on the roads."
Figures released by police this year showed the number of tickets issued to drivers for using a cellphone rose 48 per cent last year in Wairarapa.
Last year 111 tickets, worth a total of $8480, were issued in Wairarapa for cellphone offences, up from 75 the previous year.
Ministry of Transport data shows that nationally last year, "diverted attention" was identified as a contributing factor in 1053 crashes.
Such accidents resulted in 22 people being killed and a further 191 suffering serious injuries.
The total social cost of crashes involving diverted attention was about $297 million, which was about 9 per cent of the cost of all casualty crashes.