1 in 10 Irish drivers regularly text while driving according to new RSA study
Gardaí issued 24,474 notices to drivers for using a mobile phone while driving in the last year.
1 in 10 Irish drivers regularly text while driving according to new research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
The RSA and An Garda Síochána are urging drivers to put their mobile phones away when driving after the new study showed that 1 in 10 motorists admit to regularly texting while driving.
The Driver Attitudes and Behaviour Survey conducted in 2020 also revealed that 9% of motorists admit to driving and talking on a handheld mobile phone, meanwhile, a further 9% admitted to regularly checking mobile apps while behind the wheel.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said that international research has shown the risk of crashing goes up by four times when using a phone while driving.
"Despite the warnings, the threat of penalty points, the constant reminders of the dangers, some people are still refusing to heed the message," she said.
"The message is simple, put the phone away while driving and take extra care on the roads this May Bank Holiday weekend.”
Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority added: "With the Bank Holiday approaching we are asking motorists to get into the habit of putting your phone away before setting off on a journey."
If you are detected driving with a phone in your hand, or "cradled in the crook of your neck", you can face a fixed charged notice of €60 and have three penalty points put on to your driving licence.
If you accumulate 12 penalty points (seven for novice drivers) you will be disqualified from driving for six months. Meanwhile, If you choose not to pay the charge and are convicted in court, you can face five penalty points and a fine of up to €2,000.
A total of eight people have been killed and 58 seriously injured over the May Bank Holiday weekend between 2016-2020. To date in 2021, a total of 40 people have died on Irish roads, which is 13 less when compared with the same date in 2020.
Inspector Ian O’Callaghan of the Cork West Divisional Roads Policing Unit said that "any interaction with a mobile phone" while on the roads is incredibly dangerous, and encouraged people to be cautious this Bank Holiday weekend.
“Any interaction with a mobile phone while driving is dangerous behaviour that affects your ability to drive safely and puts the user and others at risk," he said.
"The message here is simple, when you’re behind the wheel of a car, your only focus should be your driving."