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Saturday 10 December 2016

Plans to extend law on texting and driving are scrapped

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 18/01/2016 | 07:39

Currently it is an offence for a driver to send an SMS text message or to hold a mobile phone while operating a vehicle
Currently it is an offence for a driver to send an SMS text message or to hold a mobile phone while operating a vehicle

Government plans to prohibit the use of social media apps while driving have been dropped from new road traffic legislation.

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Steps had been taken to legislate for the banning of all texting and internet access while driving, but the initiative has now been shelved due to time constraints imposed by the upcoming election.

Last year the Heads of the new Road Traffic Bill featured a provision that prohibited the use of apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat and Viber while behind the wheel.

Currently it is an offence for a driver to send an SMS text message or to hold a mobile phone while operating a vehicle.

Announcing the change in strategy, a spokesperson for Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said that the issue of electronic devices leading to driver distraction will be re-examined at  a later date.

The new Road Traffic Bill will instead deal with drug driving and the mutual recognition of driver disqualification with the UK.

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