Driver didn’t know holding mobile was an offence

A motorist didn’t realise that simply holding his mobile phone in his hand while driving was an offence, when he appeared before Galway District Court this week charged with the offence.

Alan Connolly, Feaghbeg, Eyrecourt, Ballinasloe was not in court when Garda Liam Kelly gave evidence of seeing him holding the phone in his right hand while driving at Tuam Road, Galway, on February 9 last.

Judge Eamon O’Brien imposed a €200 fine in Connolly’s absence. However, Connolly appeared before the court later on, blaming heavy traffic for his delay. He told the judge he had not been using his phone at the time Garda Kelly stopped him and he hadn’t realised it was an offence to hold it in his hand while driving.

Judge O’Brien reduced the fine to €100 following Connolly’s appearance before the court.

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