€1,000 fine for texting while driving 'welcome and essential'

The Road Safety Authority is welcoming new legislation which comes into force today which will see drivers who text or email behind the wheel liable for a €1,000 fine.

The RSA says the extension of the Road Traffic Act is essential because people who use a phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Anyone caught "accessing information" on a phone will be given a mandatory court summons and fine.

The fine rises to €2,000 and a possible three-month jail term for second offences.

RSA director Michael Rowland said the new rules were a vital step towards eliminating one of the most dangerous acts on our roads.

"No text or phone call is worth losing your life or killing or injuring somebody else," he said.

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