Two men have been suspended from professional driving for 12 weeks after being caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel.

Mark Honess, 41, of Longwick Road, Princes Risborough, who is the owner of a structural steelwork business, will not be able to drive large goods vehicles again until October after he was reported for two speeding and two mobile phone offences.

In a separate incident, Martin Burnell, 46, of Tyzack Road, High Wycombe, had his professional LGV driving licence suspended for 12 weeks after he was caught using his mobile phone on two separate occasions – one just days after new penalties had been introduced for the offence.

The bans come after conduct hearings in Cambridge held by the region’s Deputy Traffic Commissioner, Marcia Davis, both on July 3.

Miss Davis said Mr Honess’ pattern of offending “looked shocking”, with a speeding offence in April 2014, a mobile phone offence in August 2014, another speeding offence in October 2014 and the second mobile phone offence in July 2016.

Mr Honess told the regulator one of the speeding offences was “just over the limit” and said it had been stupid to answer the phone calls. He had seen the error of his ways and now had Bluetooth installed. On the way to the hearing, he had received a call but did not take it on Bluetooth because he wanted to concentrate on his driving.

The Deputy Traffic Commissioner said the combination of speed and distraction from using a handheld mobile phone was “lethal”, adding that his offending had revealed a propensity to break the law.

“This idea of immediacy has gotten out of control,” she added. “If someone calls, why is there a need for an immediate response when your eyes should be on the road?”

Mr Honess asked the Deputy Commissioner not to take his professional driving licence away as he needed it for work. In court, where he had faced disqualification under the totting up procedure, Mr Honess successfully put forward an argument for exceptional hardship because he was in charge of a business and the sole breadwinner in his household.

But Miss Davis noted that there was clear guidance for professional drivers on the likely consequences for committing offences, including using a mobile phone.

The Deputy Traffic Commissioner reminded Mr Honess that the onus was on him to make sure that he kept his driving licence in good order.

Giving credit for the absence of any further offences, Miss Davis made the order to suspend his professional driving licence from July 10, 2017 for 12 weeks.

She warned him not to think about driving a HGV while the suspension is in place.

At Mr Burnell’s hearing, he said he could offer no real explanation for the offending, but said he had learnt his lesson and no longer answered the phone when driving.

He explained that for the second offence, on March 2 this year, he had a Bluetooth kit but was temporarily using a phone which did not pair with the Bluetooth device. He answered the phone just to tell the caller he would return the call. Mr Burnell said that as a business owner, it was obviously his livelihood and he needed the phone for his job.

However, the Deputy Commissioner strongly challenged his justification.

Taking into account the absence of any other adverse driving history and the lack of further offences, Miss Davis concluded that the minimum period of suspension for two mobile phone offences in a commercial vehicle – 12 weeks – should be applied.