Dáil Éireann - Volume 515 - 07 March, 2000
Written Answers. - Traffic Offences.
Mr. McGahon Mr. McGahon
50. Mr. McGahon asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to the widespread practice of motorists using a telephone while driving; the number of persons charged with this offence in each of  the years from 1997 to 1999; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6672/00]
Mr. O'Donoghue Mr. O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): I am informed by the Garda authorities that, under the current road traffic legislation, there is no specific offence of driving while using a mobile telephone. Furthermore, I am informed that there are no statistics in relation to the number of prosecutions for using a mobile phone while driving. The question of the introduction of legislation banning mobile telephone use while driving is a matter for the Minister for the Environment and Local Government who is responsible for all road traffic legislation.
I understand the Garda authorities have been advised by the Director of Public Prosecutions that the use of a mobile telephone by a driver does not, on its own, constitute an offence under the Road Traffic Acts, 1961, as amended. If, however, such use causes a driver to do anything which could be regarded as dangerous or careless, a charge of dangerous or careless driving could be brought against the motorist.
Dáil Éireann 515 Written Answers. Traffic Offences.