Friday 30 September 2016

Over 110 motorists nabbed holding mobile phones while driving in just three hours

Published 12/05/2016 | 17:42

Operation Mobile phone in Cork City. Driver of this vehicle texting and driving. Picture: Garda Press Office
Operation Mobile phone in Cork City. Driver of this vehicle texting and driving. Picture: Garda Press Office
Motorists are being urged to put down the mobile phone

Gardaí caught over 110 motorists holding mobile phones while driving during a three-hour operation.

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The targeted operation, widely flagged in the media by gardaí, took place last Saturday, between 10am and 1pm.

A garda spokesman confirmed that provisional  figures indicate that in excess of 110 drivers were detected holding a mobile phone whilst driving, despite advance warning of this operation being released to the public.

The average daily detection rate in 2015 was 76.

Operation Mobile phone in Cork City. Driver of this vehicle texting and driving. Picture: Garda Press Office
Operation Mobile phone in Cork City. Driver of this vehicle texting and driving. Picture: Garda Press Office

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said it was "very disappointing" to catch so many drivers flouting the law after being warned.

"There is no doubt such a distraction contributes to collisions. Any distraction, not only mobile phones, can cause a momentary lapse in concentration which could lead to your vehicle veering off course, or preventing you from noticing the red traffic light or the child playing on the road. 

"This high risk behaviour must change, to make the roads safer for all. Please be aware that more such targeted operations will be taking place, so make that choice to put the mobile away.”

Moyagh Murdock CEO, Road Safety Authority said: "Your mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash. But if you are texting you are a staggering twenty-three times more likely to be involved in a collision.

"When you use your mobile behind the wheel, taking your mind and eyes off the road for just a split second can destroy everything forever.

"We’re asking drivers to realise how their phones take their attention away from the task at hand. And having your full attention is never more important than when you have the lives of other road users in your hands. Switch off the phone, put it on silent or put it out of reach, but do whatever you need to remove the temptation to use the phone while driving.”

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