A national operation targeting motorists using mobile phones will be mounted by the gardaí tomorrow and Friday.

Gardaí said it was apparent that holding a mobile phone while driving remained a significant issue.

They said that in the first three months of this year, nearly 10,000 people were detected holding a mobile while driving.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said mobile phone use while driving is now the second-highest motoring offence detected by gardaí.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Asst Commissioner Twomey said the first three months of 2014 saw a 60% increase in the number of motorists detected using their phone while driving.

There is a four-fold increase in the risk of having a collision when using a mobile, he said, which poses a growing challenge for gardaí.

He said: "We're trying to get people to stop using a mobile phone because of the dangers and risks posed. We don't want to issue fixed charge notices. We want people to stop using it."

Asst Commissioner Twomey said no call or text is so important that you should put your own life or the lives of other road users at risk.

A total of 153 motorists were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving over the Easter weekend.