New law sees up to €1,000 fine 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 rules mean anyone caught accessing information on their phones will face a mandatory court appearance and a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence.

This will rise to a maximum of €2,000 for a second offence, and a possible three-month jail sentence, along with a €2,000 fine, for three offences or more within a 12-month period.

It's already illegal to text while driving but the changes will close off a loophole which could allow people to escape fines and penalties if they were operating a phone resting in a cradle or via a hands-free kit.

The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar signed the new amendment to existing legislation into law yesterday which brings the new measures into effect from May 1st.

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