Within effect from May 1st 2014 all Irish motorists caught accessing information on their phones, in particular ‘Texting’ while driving, could face a fine of up to €1,000.
Under these new rules this mandatory fine 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 any one year period.
Please note some people may find this video hereunder upsetting.
Under Irish law it is already illegal to ‘Text’ while driving, however the changes will close off a loophole which could allow people to escape fines and penalties if they were operating a phone resting in a cradle or via a hands-free kit.
Minister for Transport Mr Leo Varadkar has signed this new amendment to existing legislation which will come into effect on May 1st of this year. A spokesperson for the minister stated he wanted to close a possible loophole which could meant that a driver caught ‘Texting’ on a phone resting in a cradle could potentially take a challenge through the Irish court system.
A Department of Transport spokesperson said ‘Texting’ while driving is now considered so serious that no penalty points will be immediately applied to those caught, resulting instead with the offender being summonsed to appear before the courts.
The Road Safety Authority has welcomed the tightening up of this legislation.