A targeted Mobile Phone Enforcement Operation is taking place on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd March 2016.
The aim of the operation is to:
1. make drivers aware of the dangers of using a mobile phone
2. detect offending motorists.
In 2013, there were over 28,000 people detected holding a mobile phone whilst driving, the second highest offence detected nationally. This display of bad driver behaviour requires continued and prolonged attention. Provisional figures from a previous national mobile phone operation held on the 27th March 2014 yielded a 300% increase in detections above the average daily detection rate. It is apparent that holding a mobile phone whilst driving remains a significant issue.
Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, Garda National Traffic Bureau said:
“We all know how distracting mobile phones can be in any situation, except in the car it can have fatal consequences. Driving requires 100% concentration – it’s as simple as that. In the first three months of the year nearly 10,000 drivers have been detected holding a mobile phone whilst driving. This is not acceptable or conducive to road safety. The choice is yours. To avoid penalty points, a fine or worse, be involved in a road traffic collision, always put the phone away when driving.”
Effects of mobile phone use on driving performance
There is a four-fold increase in the risk of having a road collision when using a mobile phone. What makes a mobile phone so dangerous when used in a vehicle?
1. Physically: instead of focusing on the physical tasks required by driving (e.g. steering, gear changing), drivers have to use one or both of their hands to manipulate the phone.
2. Visually: mobile phones could visually distract drivers in two ways:
Firstly, drivers have to move their eyes from the road and focus on the mobile phone in order to be able to use it.
Secondly, while talking on a mobile phone, even if drivers’ eyes are focused on the road, they ‘look but do not see’.
3. Auditory: the focus of drivers’ attention moves from the road environment to the sounds of the mobile phone and the conversation. This particularly applies when the sound quality is poor.
4. Cognitively: instead of focusing their attention and thoughts on driving, drivers divert their attention and focus on the topic of the phone conversation
Gardaí will focus on the enforcement of relevant legislation. Making that call/ holding that phone will result in 2 penalty points and a 60 euro fine payable with 28 days. (Increasing to 4 penalty pointy 90 euro if paid with 28-56 days)