Big increase in detections for using phone while driving

Figures from An Garda Síochána show that over 5,000 drivers were issued with points for using a mobile phone while driving in April alone. As can be seen from the graph below there have been steep month-on-month increases in the numbers detected during the first four months of this year.

fixed penalty notices for using a mobile while driving.

Source: An Garda Síochána –


RSA LogoIn 2009 the RSA carried out a survey of phone use by drivers. This survey reported that 6% of drivers were observed to use a phone while driving, with observed rates varying between 2% and 16% depending on location.

The RSA’s report is quite short at just 9 pages but nevertheless provides some useful insights. It also raises some questions, such as why there is a big difference in compliance between Cork & Dublin.  (source)

The dotted line on the graph shows the trend in the number of detections increasing sharply.

The steep increase in April corresponds with Minister for Transport Dr. Leo Varadkar’s announcement that he had signed an order closing a loophole in the law and that texting while driving was thus completely prohibited. The Gardai then undertook a significant enforcement operation over 24th/25th April.

textingMAG Ireland fully supports the Gardai in their efforts to eliminate the lethal practice of texting while driving. In 2012 we reported on a distracted driving study which found that “The most revealing result was the 79% reduction in attention while texting and driving, and this was the only test which caused any participant to crash the simulated car.” (source)

MAG Ireland has worked to implement the proposals on distracted driving adopted by members at our last AGM and we continue to work with the relevant authorities to promote awareness of the particular risks posed to riders by drivers using mobile phones.

Too many riders have been hurt, or worse, by the inattention of drivers focused on their phones. Our message to drivers is a simple one.

Put the Phone Down
Look Twice
Save a Life!

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