New legislation for Mobile Phone use while driving

Motorists caught texting on their mobile phones while driving could face a fine of up to € 1,000.

The new regulations make it an offence to use or handle the keypad of a hands-free mobile phone.

Under a new amendment to existing legislation signed into law by the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday it means that convictions will result in a €1,000 maximum fine for a first offence.

This will rise to a maximum fine € 2,000 for a second or subsequent offence and a € 2,000 maximum fine and-or up to three months in prison for a third or subsequent offence within a 12 month period.

Although sending text messages was previously legislated for, the use of hands-free devices was not specifically covered and the regulations cover text messages and multimedia media messages.

The new law will take effect on the 1st of May.