Gardai target drivers on mobiles

Texting while driving - Image credit:

Texting while driving – Image credit:

Nearly 10,000 drivers have been detected holding a mobile phone whilst driving this year according to a press release by An Garda Siochana announcing the launch of a clampdown on this deadly practice.

As we reported recently, from 1st May 2014, it will be completely illegal to text while driving after Minister for Transport Dr. Leo Varadkar closed a legal loophole around texting while driving so that drivers caught texting while driving, even using a hands-free kit, will face a mandatory court summons and a fine instead of just penalty points.

According to Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey, mobile phone use while driving is now the second-highest motoring offence detected by Gardaí. To highlight the issue, a targeted mobile phone enforcement operation will take place on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th April 2014.

According to the Gardai:

The aim of the operation is to:

1. make drivers aware of the dangers of using a mobile phone
2. detect offending motorists.

Intercepting such distracted drivers will modify driver behaviour, thus making the roads safer for all road users.

In 2013, there were over 28,000 people detected holding a mobile phone whilst driving, the second highest offence detected nationally. This display of bad driver behaviour requires continued and prolonged attention. Provisional figures from a previous national mobile phone operation held on the 27th March 2014 yielded a 300% increase in detections above the average daily detection rate. It is apparent that holding a mobile phone whilst driving remains a significant issue.

MAG 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)

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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