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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Gardaí planning huge crackdown on drivers using mobile phones

More than 28,000 people were caught using their phone while driving last year.

Image: Shutterstock/Syda Productions

GARDAÍ ARE PLANNING TO crack down on people using their mobile phones while driving.

All available garda personnel, both those in uniform and plainclothes officers, will participate in a targeted operation in the coming days.

“Distracted driving, such as using or holding a mobile phone whilst driving is a high risk activity for all road users and as such must be addressed.

“Intercepting such distracted drivers will modify driver behaviour, thus making the roads safer for all road users,” An Garda Síochána said in a statement released today.

More than 28,000 people were detected holding a mobile phone while driving in 2015, the second highest driving offence detected nationally.

Every day, on average, 76 people are caught using their phones while driving.

Three penalty points

An Garda Síochána has advised drivers that it is an offence to hold a phone in your hand while driving, or to support it with another part of the body, such as between the neck and shoulder. It doesn’t matter if the person is not actually engaged in a conversation, texting or browsing online.

This offence will lead to three penalty points and an €80 fine.

“Distracted driving causes collisions, and using or holding a mobile phone whilst driving is a prime example of distracted driving. We are announcing that there will be a targeted operation taking place over the next few days, but not announcing the exact dates. This is to give people an opportunity to modify their behaviour and put away that mobile phone,” Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said.

On average 76 people are detected every day for mobile phone offences. There are far more that aren’t and every one of them is driving distracted, causing risk on the road for all road users.

“Switch off before you drive off – no call, text or email is that important that you risk your or someone else’s life,” Reid added.

Read: Man (21) jailed for three months after being caught driving 208km per hour

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Órla Ryan

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