Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has said she intends to legislate for higher penalty points and fines for motorists who use a hand-held mobile phone while behind the wheel.
Currently, motorists in NI caught using a hand-held phone while driving face a £60 fine and three penalty points.
Ms Mallon said this was “not acceptable”.
She is proposing the increases should be in line with GB, which would mean a £200 fine and six penalty points.
Ms Mallon said she had written to the assembly’s committee for infrastructure to outline her legislative programme priorities, including updating the law to protect road users.
She said the current road safety strategy had expired in December and work had begun within her department which would help inform her decisions on its successor later in the year.
“Evidence shows that using mobile devices while driving is distracting,” she said.
“Distraction while driving is one of the main causes of road traffic collisions on our roads.
“Many of those collisions causing serious injury and some resulting in loss of life.
“Any collision caused by mobile phone usage when driving is one too many.”
More than half of those surveyed for a recent report produced by the Department for Infrastructure indicated the penalty for using a mobile phone while driving should be increased.
The SDLP deputy leader added she was hopeful the committee would support her intentions and they couls work together to make Northern Ireland’s roads safer.