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Sunday 21 January 2018

'We are announcing a targeted operation' - Gardai set to clamp down on motorists using mobile phones

Motorists are being urged to put down the mobile phone
Motorists are being urged to put down the mobile phone
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Motorists using mobile phones while driving are being warned of a massive clampdown over the coming days.

An Garda Siochana report today that they will undergo a "targeted mobile phone operation" and the aim of the operation is to detect motorists holding or using a mobile phone while driving.

A total of 28,000 people, or an average of 76 people a day, were detected using a phone while driving last year.

It is the second highest offence detected nationally.

Gardai are warning drivers that it is considered an offence when the mobile phone is being held, or is being supported or cradled with another part of the body.

"Distracted driving causes collisions, and using or holding a mobile phone whilst driving, is a prime example of distracted driving," Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said.

"We are announcing that there will be a targeted operation taking place over the next few days, but not announcing the exact dates.

"This is to give people an opportunity to modify their behaviour and put away that mobile phone.

"A mobile phone these days is a portable computer or office and there are a multitude of applications etc that can easily distract a driver whilst they should be focusing solely on driving.”

He continued: "On average 76 people are detected every day for mobile phone offences.

"There are far more that aren’t, and every one of them is driving distracted, causing risk on the road for all road users.

"Our appeal, and why we are advertising this operation in advance, is for drivers to modify their driving. Switch off before you drive call, text or email is that important that you risk your or someone else’s life”.

The offence of holding a mobile phone while driving carries a fixed charge notice penalty of three penalty points and an €80 euro fine to be paid within 28 days.

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