Figures also reveal a massive increase in road traffic offences recorded in the capital - including an almost fourfold rise in people caught speeding this year - following a major shift in policing policy.
Police Scotland says the move has resulted in a significant reduction in road deaths, but the Automobile Association says other factors, such as high fuel prices, may have helped reduce the number of vehicles on the road and therefore accidents.
The crackdown on drivers follows police raids in the summer on the city's sex saunas, which had historically been allowed to operate freely by the licensing authorities.
Since the creation of Police Scotland on April 1, Chief Constable Sir Stephen House has made clear that tackling road traffic offences is a priority.
In the first four months of the new force, the number of drivers caught speeding in Edinburgh increased from 350 to 1200 against the same period last year.
Those caught not wearing a seatbelt increased from 347 to 869 between April and the end of July. The number of drivers found using mobile phones rose from 421 to 967.
Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, police commander of Edinburgh, said: "The chief is very clear and focused about the priorities for Police Scotland. It is about keeping people safe. For us in the east and north there has been quite a change in approach and focus. Road safety is a very high priority.
"We have been asked to make a real shift in focus around road policing. The numbers killed or seriously injured has reduced."
The number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in the city from April to July was 42, down 26 on the same period in 2012.
Earlier this year, Sir Stephen said police would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to dangerous drivers and criminals who used roads to courier everything from drugs to dirty money.
Under section 165 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act police can stop a vehicle for any reason. They can also ask drivers to pull over if they have reason to suspect specific criminality or that the vehicle has been involved in an accident. The checks are being made under this legislation.
Chief Superintendent Williams added: "This is not about the persecution of drivers. It is about keeping people safe on the road. The number killed or seriously injured on Scotland's roads is far too high.
"We know that targeting dangerous and criminal drivers is effective at improving road safety and reducing criminal activity. We spent a lot of time asking the people of Edinburgh what they wanted from policing and a consistent theme was that of road safety."
The number of people killed on roads across Scotland has decreased 42%, from an average of about 290 in 2004 to 170 in 2012. However, senior police officers say this is still almost double the number of people murdered in 2012.
Earlier this year Sir Stephen promised his officers would be more visible on the roads and said resources would be targeted on crash hotspots to try to lower casualties and address safety concerns.
A national unit was created to police trunk roads across Scotland - work that was previously divided between the eight different forces.
A spokesman for the AA said: "Drivers have for years thought they could get away with bad habits, particularly in relation to mobile phones. They should bear in mind that being penalised for driving while on a mobile phone is infinitely better than going to jail for having killed a child.
"I would perhaps query whether the reduction in the number of road deaths is all down to the police. High petrol prices has plunged petrol consumption down to record lows.
"When it comes down to newer road traffic offences, if drivers feel they are being picked on they need to bear in mind that if this action helps stop one nitwit causing an accident ... then they ought to be grateful for that."