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Saturday 30 August 2014

Gaybo tells taxi drivers using app to pull over

Louise Hogan

Published 26/04/2014 | 02:30

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Gay Byrne
Gay Byrne

ROAD safety chief Gay Byrne has urged taxi drivers using the popular online taxi-calling service, Hailo, to pull over for safety amid a clampdown on mobile phone usage.

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Mr Byrne warned that a level of "complacency" had crept in amongst all drivers as many felt the "risk of being caught was little or nothing".

The warning came as gardai revealed that, on the first of a two-day national mobile-phone blitz, 600 people had been detected using their mobile phones while driving.

It comes ahead of new regulations from May 1 that will see motorists fined €1,000 if they are caught sending a text message while driving.

"We're not surprised that so many people were caught in the act of using a mobile phone," said the Road Safety Authority (RSA) chairman Mr Byrne.

Mr Byrne blamed a lack of resources, facilities and money on hindering the garda traffic division – resulting in a drop in visible "enforcement".

He praised the two-day crackdown which ended last night, adding that the RSA's "only complaint" was that it felt "this concentration should be brought to bear every day".

With days to go before the regulations kick in, taxi driver leaders said there remained an element of confusion surrounding usage of the Hailo app, which pinpoints for customers where taxis are on a map.

Hailo stated that the Department of Transport has confirmed it was not affected by the legislation. However, it pointed out the app is already designed with "safety in mind" and all drivers understand they "must be stationary when booking and completing the journey".

Irish Independent

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