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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

'Put the bloody thing away': 60% of Irish drivers have used their phones at a red light

“Phone use by Irish drivers is at ridiculously high levels,” according to The AA.

Image: SergeyIT via Shutterstock

ONE IN TWELVE drivers in Ireland have admitted to using their phone on an “occasional basis” while driving, in an AA Car Insurance survey of road users.

The survey of over 6,461 drivers in Ireland also found that almost two-thirds of respondents admitted to using their phones at a red light on at least one occasion in the past.

“Phone use by Irish drivers is at ridiculously high levels,” says the AA’s director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan.

It’s dysfunctional. We all know you can’t do it and we all know it’s dangerous, but every single day Irish drivers in their tens and hundreds of thousands can’t resist the urge.
Put the bloody thing away and watch what you are doing.

The survey also found that 1.42% admitting to “regularly” using their phone on the open road, and 0.83% of respondents said they use their phone while driving in flowing traffic on a daily basis.

It’s currently illegal to use a mobile phone when driving; the punishment if you’re caught is a €60 fine and three penalty points, which remain on your license for three years.

The AA said despite these measures, there were still high levels of phone-usage while driving due to “deficiencies” in the levels of policing on Irish roads.

“Unfortunately, for some people if they feel the risk of being caught is relatively low, they’re willing to flout the law and, in doing so, put other road users in danger. ”

Even when stuck at a red light it’s important that your concentration remains on the road in front of you and that you’re on the lookout for vulnerable road users.

Meanwhile Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said previously that “any distraction, not only mobile phones, can cause a momentary lapse in concentration which could lead to your vehicle veering off course, or preventing you from noticing the red traffic light or the child playing on the road.”

Read: Gardaí crackdown on drivers using mobile phones

Read: Fresh snow-ice warning issued as wintry showers move through country

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