An Garda Síochána have announced a nationwide campaign this coming Thursday & Friday to 'educate' road users on the dangers of using a mobile device while driving.
The special operation falls just before new legislation comes into effect on May 1st, which will make it an offence to send or read a text message - or to even touch your mobile phone while driving.
Under the legislation, making a phone call or even simply touching
a phone will result in 2 penalty points and a €60 fine payable with 28 days. This increases to 4 penalty points and a €90 if paid within 28 to 56 days.
The regulations make it an offence to send or read a text, including an e-mail, from a mobile phone while driving, but does not include anything done without
touching the phone, or through voice activation.
The offence is punishable on conviction with a fine of up to €1,000 for the first offence, increasing to €2,000 and a possible jail sentence. This offence is now seen in the same light by the authorities as drink driving or speeding.
Facts point the direction of action however, with almost 10,000 drivers have been detected holding a mobile phone while driving in the first three months of 2014. In the whole of 2013, there were more than 28,000 people detected, which represents a 60% year on year increase.
Be warned and be safe this coming Thursday & Friday and always. If you don't currently own a bluetooth device you can buy them from as little as €9.99 on the MicksGarage.com
site - a lot less than a nasty €1,000 fine!