Police are now being encouraged to use existing powers to charge drivers caught answering handheld mobile devices, sending texts or adjusting SatNavs with dangerous driving, which caries a maximum two-year jail sentence.
However these new measures will only be enforced in extreme cases and most offenders will still face the standard penalty of a fine and points on their licence.
Drivers who use hands-free devices but are deemed not to be in control of their vehicle could also face charges under the new rules.
The new guidelines have been introduced because of fears the existing penalties have failed to act as a deterrent.
The CPS has also revealed that, from next year, drivers who kill while using a phone can be charged with death by dangerous driving, which carries a 14-year jail sentence. In more severe cases, offenders could even face manslaughter charges.
Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald, QC said: “The revised policy responds to public concern about the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone and this means that a charge of dangerous driving will now be the starting point for this offence."