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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 16 November, 2019

Banned: Texting while driving now 'completely prohibited'

The existing law wasn’t 100 per cent clear on the area, according to Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.

YOU PROBABLY PRESUMED texting while driving was already illegal, right?

Well, essentially it is — but the Transport Minister’s just taken action to clear up the situation once and for all.

Varadkar actually flagged the move at a road safety event a few weeks ago — few people noticed, however, as the announcement was overshadowed by his scripted remarks about the garda whistleblowers.

Earlier in the speech, he’d explained, “it is already an offence to hold a mobile phone while driving and I will shortly strengthen the law by prohibiting completely the practice of texting while driving. This will be done by regulation”.

He said that while you can’t operate a phone while behind the wheel, the law wasn’t 100 per cent clear as to whether that applied to sending a text or searching the web while the phone is in the cradle.

A survey carried out earlier this year found that texting was cited by over ten per cent of drivers as the activity that caused most “near misses”.

Read: Varadkar ‘loves’ trains – and won’t be closing ‘dozens’ of rural lines 

Read: Varadkar says Callinan should withdraw ‘disgusting’ remarks – but gardaí say he won’t

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