Over 21,000 drivers caught using phone while driving this year – Journal.ie

Don't try this at home Image Credit: Ford/Newspress

Don’t try this at home
Image Credit: Ford/Newspress

According to a report on thejournal.ie web site, over 21,000 motorists have been caught using their phone while driving this year. As we previously reported (here) there was a big jump in prosecutions during the first three months of the year with over 5,000 fixed charge penalty notices issued in April alone.

As we said at the time:

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)

Last Year, MAG Ireland launched a campaign specifically to target distracted driving – and especially the use of mobiles by drivers. We then engaged with the relevant authorities to provide the riders perspective and we pushed for increased penalties to tackle the scourge of drivers using mobiles. Earlier this year, then Minister for Transport Dr. Leo Varadkar, introduced much tougher sanctions for drivers who flout the law on mobile phone use.

While thousands of drivers continue to receive points for using a phone while driving, there have been no prosecutions under the new legislation as yet. The reason for this is neatly summarised by the Journal.ie article:

The law now states that drivers caught texting and using mobiles, even a hands-free kit, will face a mandatory court summons and a fine instead of just penalty points.

If a driver is caught texting on their phones they could face a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence, increasing to €2,000 if it is a second offence, with the possibility of a three month jail sentence.

Gardaí said that figures on prosecutions for the new offence are not yet available as they are dealt with by way of summons which they have up to six months to submit.

For our part MAG Ireland continues to monitor the situation and will continue to work towards raising awareness of the particular risks posed to riders by motorists who insist on using mobiles while driving. We also encourage riders to be extra vigilant and always ride defensively.

For the full article on thejournal.ie see: