If you take a look at the passing traffic in Dublin, it generally only takes a minute or two until you spot a driver using their mobile phone.
Clearly some drivers are not worried about the prospect of 3 points on their driver’s licence, or a mandatory court appearance and fine of up to €1,000 if they’re caught texting. Or the fact that they’re 4 times more likely to crash when distracted on the phone.
So I got thinking about a more suitable punishment, that would be reasonably easy to implement, and would be an added deterrent to people. The Garda and courts, in addition to the other penalties, would be able to enforce a 6-month outgoing call/text ban on an offender’s mobile.
The ban on outgoing calls/texts would remove the temptation from drivers to pick up their phones when driving, and it would be an enormous inconvenience to offenders generally. Incoming calls/text would still be allowed for safety purposes, as would outgoing calls to the emergency services.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping people switching to a new phone number, but that’s a massive inconvenience in itself, and would be embarrassing to explain to friends and family.