Irish drivers continue to flout the law and are turning their mobile phones into dangerous devices by using them while motoring.
Research of mobile phone use by Irish drivers, carried out by motoring solutions specialists, easytrip, revealed that a significant number are violating mobile phone road traffic regulations.
More than 10% of drivers continue to put their lives, and others, at risk by using their hand-held phones whilst driving.
The research, which involved monitoring more than 1,000 vehicles during peak commute times, produced some alarming findings. Of the 10% of motorists who were observed breaking the law in relation to mobile phone use:
* 53% were texting/checking their mobile phone while driving or stationary at traffic lights.
* 48% were speaking on their hand-held phone whilst driving or waiting in traffic (some drivers committed both offences).
There was a clear distinction between male and female drivers’ habits, with more males (63%) than females (37%) observed breaking the law.
The most common violation for males was talking on their hand-held mobile phone while driving (41%) whereas the most prevalent for women was checking or texting on their mobile while stopped at traffic lights (39%).
From a commercial perspective, the easytrip research also showed a significant number of trucks and vans drivers, mostly male, were talking on a hand-held phone while driving.
Interestingly, it appears there is a generational divide involved in the type of offence being committed, with middle-aged people (40-50 age group) more likely to be caught talking on the phone while younger drivers (20s and 30s) are more likely to text or check their phones while driving.
“Three months on from the introduction of the new penalties for texting, and it seems that a lot of motorists are still ignoring the dangers,” said Ciara O’Brien, General Manager, easytrip.
“Holding a mobile phone while driving, whether you’re talking or texting, increases your chance of an accident by up to four times and is lethally dangerous.
“That is why the new penalties are so severe.”
From August 1, penalty points for holding a mobile phone while driving increase from 2 to 3 points, with a fixed-charge of €60 that can lead to a possible €2,000 fine on conviction.
Meanwhile, Skoda Ireland confirmed that the new Fabia model will go on sale in early January. The model, the third-generation of the Fabia, will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.
Despite having tighter proportions than before, the updated clever packaging boasts a wider and longer interior providing greater passenger comfort and a larger luggage capacity.
Full prices later, but they are expected to be between €14,500 and €16,495.
With the new Premier League season up and running, Irish Ferries has geared up to accommodate the wave of fans who will depart each weekend from now until May to cheer on their favourite teams in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and elsewhere.
The company reminds passengers that day trips by coach, inclusive of match ticket and ferry travel start at €149 per person return, while overnight accommodation inclusive of coach, return ferry travel and match ticket starts at €209 per person.
Describing the packages as ‘a suite of options designed to suit supporters of all ages’, their head of passenger sales, Dermot Merrigan also pointed to the family package of return ferry crossing for a car, two adults and two children from €251, or the SailRail option to Manchester or Liverpool starting at €83 per person return.
The Honda CR-V is the world’s best-selling SUV so far in 2014. The figures, provided by global automotive market consulting specialists, Focus2Move, show worldwide sales of the CR-V totalled nearly 290,000 units.
Always popular in Ireland, the CR-V was boosted in 2014 by the introduction of the 1.6 (120bhp) i-DTEC model. Sales here have increased by 220% this year as the CR-V climbs the SUV sales charts.
The Honda CR-V retails from €31,995. With the availability of new Honda Now PCP Finance packages, the CR-V can be driven for around €369 per month.