An "excessive" number of drivers caught using mobile phones were slapped with $6500 in fines during a police blitz in Warrnambool.
Plain clothed officers in unmarked police cars handed out the fines to 14 drivers who were either talking or texting on their phones while driving or stationary at the traffic lights on Raglan Parade over a six-hour period on Friday.
The alarming trend has prompted a warning from Warrnambool's Highway Patrol Unit which says it's just "unacceptable".
Sergeant Greg Cressall said police were shocked by the number of drivers doing the wrong thing with 11 of the 14 drivers nabbed being south-west locals.
"It's pretty excessive considering the high road toll," Sergeant Cressall said.
"The message doesn't seem to be getting out there."
So far this year, 93 people have died on Victorian roads compared to 58 at the same time last year.
With each driver fined $484 and given four demerit points, he said that was a total of $6776 handed out in just over six hours.
Sergeant Cressall said it was obvious when drivers were on their phones because their vehicles slowed down and started to swerve into other lanes.
"It just highlights how it takes away their concentration," he said.
"It's just not worth it.
"Just let it ring."
He said plain clothes officers on foot would soon be stationed at pedestrian crossings in Warrnambool to ensure motorists were doing the right thing.
If the officers spot anyone doing the wrong thing, they would notify a patrol car that would be stationed nearby to intercept the vehicle.
A similar operation was conducted in Warrnambool in November and 71 drivers were caught out - 45 of them for using their mobile phones.
Eight others were fined for not wearing seatbelts while the rest were fined for a range of other offences such as disobeying red lights.
On Thursday, the five-day statewide Operation Nexus will kick off with police targeting drivers over the Easter holiday period.
Sergeant Cressall said police would be focused the main causes of fatalities and major injuries such as speed, alcohol and drug impairment, driver distraction, fatigue and seatbelts.