Over 85% of drivers regularly see people using phones behind the wheel

In a survey of more than 3,000 road users, almost half encountered motorists using phones daily

 

Nearly half of Irish motorists see other drivers using mobiles phones on a daily basis, according to a survey by AA Ireland.

In a survey of more than 3,000 drivers, 46.5 per cent stated that they encountered people using phones and other hand-held devices while behind the wheel almost every day. A further 39 per cent said they see drivers using phones regularly, with just five per cent claimed they have never seen it.

The penalty for using a phone while driving is two points on your licence and a €60 fine, which can rise to four penalty points and a €2,000 fine if you are convicted in court. Road safety legislation allows for hands-free calls while driving, but experts say any phone use can affect your concentration.

“While phones make modern life easier in many ways, when you’re behind the wheel, driving requires 100 per cent of your attention. No matter how important you think the call or text may be, your number one priority should always be the safety of yourself and other road users,” said Conor Faughnan, AA director of consumer affairs.

“Even if you have a hands-free kit in your car. engaging in any conversation increases your risk of being involved in some kind of incident and, at the very least, we would advise drivers using these kits to avoid any lengthy conversations and to only use the device where absolutely necessary.”

The results of the survey varied by age, with 54 per cent of 56-65 year olds reporting they see other motorists using mobile phones daily, compared to only 34 per cent of those aged 17-24 noticing the same.