Fine for mobile phone users while driving

Drivers caught texting on mobile phones, regardless of the fact that they are on a hands-free kit, will be given a court summons and a fine (of up to €1,000) rather than receiving penalty points under new road safety regulations.


* The new rules, which come into effect from May 1st, mean anyone caught texting or "accessing information" on their phones will face a mandatory court appearance and a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence. This will rise to a maximum of €2,000 for a second offence, and a possible three-month jail sentence, along with a €2,000 fine, for three offences or more within a 12-month period.

It's already unlawful to text while driving with the changes closing off a loophole which could allow individuals to escape fines and punishments in the event that they were operating a phone resting in a cradle or via a hands-free kit.

Comments made from within the Minister for Transport - Leo Varadkar's office have said that using your mobile while driving is viewed as a genuine enough offense to warrant a compulsory court presence, which would rank it alongside drink driving and drug taking while driving.

Alex Todd Brand Manager at Its4women commented "At any given moment during daylight hours, 1000's of vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held device. Texting and driving is a serious epidemic. We hope this new road safety regulation is a wake-up call to those that text and drive."

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