Worrying number of drivers still using mobile phones
As it emerged from Courts Service figures that 6,171 drivers are still to come before the courts for using mobile phones while driving, Sinn Féin Transport and Road Safety spokesperson Pearse Doherty called on motorists to take "greater driving responsibility" and urged the mobile phone industry to "proactively ensure that all driving customers are sold or informed of hands free mobile phone sets."
The Donegal Senator said today, "It is common sense that using a mobile phone while driving will impair one's driving ability. It is both distracting and downright dangerous. A survey published in the British Medical Journal stated that people who use a mobile phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a serious collision. Unfortunately this message has been ignored by over 6,000 drivers who are due in court for using mobile phones while driving.
"While drivers need to take responsibility for their actions I would also urge the mobile phone industry to proactively ensure that all driving customers are informed of hands free mobile phone head sets and are offered them in any mobile phone purchase.
"The practice of operating a hand-held mobile phone while driving is dangerous and belated legislation, namely the Road Traffic Bill 2006, was put in place last year to outlaw it. Drivers need to be educated that with the use of easy-to-use head sets road accidents can be prevented and ultimately lives can be saved".