Don't touch your mobile while driving. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

Over the past few months, traffic fines for drivers who send WhatsApps while driving in Mallorca have risen sharply.

Seven out of ten penalties for using a mobile phone while driving in are related to this procedure.

The remaining three would be for talking on a mobile phone while driving.

Sources from the Guardia Civil and the Local Police of Palma confirmed that it is becoming increasingly common to come across drivers checking their messages or e-mails while driving.

Before, most of the fines were for talking on the mobile phone, now the trend has been reversed and most of them are for manipulating it.

On 21 March, the new traffic regulations will come into force, toughening the penalties for looking at your mobile phone while driving. The fine will still be 200 euros, but now the driver will lose six points instead of three. In other words, half of the total number of driving points will be removed at once.

Police officers point out that in a few seconds, which is how long it takes to pick up the phone, unlock it and send a WhatsApp message or reply to another, "the vehicle may have travelled more than 100 metres, with the driver looking at the screen", which is a tremendous risk.

Researchers are convinced that many of the recent traffic accidents in Mallorca are directly related to this worrying phenomenon. The problem is that it is sometimes very difficult to prove how the drivers has been using the phone.