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Friday 22 August 2014

Micheal Martin’s brother Sean pulled over for using phone while driving

Louise Hogan

Published 12/05/2014 | 00:21

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Micheal Martin with his brother Sean Martin
Micheal Martin with his brother Sean Martin

A BROTHER of Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has been pulled over for using his mobile phone behind the wheel.

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Sean Martin - who is a public representative on Cork City Council - said he was stopped by gardai after he took a family phone call yesterday evening while driving to a football match.

Cllr Martin described it as a “mistake” but insisted he would be taking any penalty he receives for mobile phone use while driving.

“If I get penalty points, I get penalty points,” said Cllr Martin, adding he had “never made any phone calls to anyone” to get a penalty point offence removed.

He was referencing the inappropriate wiping of penalty points by gardai for thousands of motorists that was criticised in a recent damning report by the Garda Inspectorate.

The highly critical report from the watchdog recommended the right to withdraw fixed charge penalty notices should be transferred solely to the Fixed Charge Processing Office in Co Tipperary.

 “If I get stopped for penalty points that’s fine - if I’m wrong I’m wrong.”

Cllr Martin said he spoke with the garda at the scene. “I was wrong. I made a mistake,” he said, ahead of the upcoming local and European elections.

The public representative said he would be concerned at coverage of such a matter as he is an “ordinary Irish citizen” and numerous people get stopped for alleged road traffic offences every week.

It comes in the wake of a two-day major garda operation against mobile phone use while driving. Some 1,191 drivers were detected driving with a mobile phone in just two days.

Under new legislation brought in on May 1, drivers caught texting and using mobiles will be given a mandatory court summons and a fine of up to €1,000 instead of just penalty points under new road safety regulations.

In 2013, there were over 28,000 people detected holding a mobile phone whilst driving, the second highest offence detected nationally.

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