Tuesday, 22 March 1994
Dáil Éireann Debate
31. Mr. Barry asked the Minister for the Environment the proposals, if any, he has to curb or prohibit the use of hand-held telephones by motorists driving along the public roadway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for the Environment (Mr. M. Smith): I have no proposals at present to introduce a specific prohibition on the use of hand-held telephones by motorists while driving as I am satisfied that such  use can be dealt with under section 52 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, which deals with driving without due care and attention. An offence under that section carries a maximum fine of £350, or at the discretion of the court, a prison term of up to three months, or both, together with, on a third or subsequent offence within three years, a disqualification from driving for at least six months.
The latest edition of the “Rules of the Road” advises of the dangers arising from the use of a hand-held telephone by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion and recommends that drivers stop at a safe location before making or receiving a call on a hand-held telephone or two-way radio.
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