Driving and mobile phone use in Ireland

It is now illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in Ireland, unless it is a loudspeaking handsfree device.  Motorists who use hand-held mobile phones face an EUR 435 fine, three months' jail and a six-month driving ban. The ban also applies to truck and other heavy vehicle drivers.


Not permitted while driving

  • Portable hands free kits (i.e. earpiece connected by wire to handheld phone).  The position of wireless Bluetooth headsets is unclear.
  • Having a phone switched on in your pocket.
  • Use of other radio devices - eg CB, other 2 way radio systems, etc.


  • Passenger use of phones.
  • Handheld phones switched on in the glove compartment or on a passenger seat - however if you use the phone before parking safely you are committing an offense.


If you are driving alone, decide your call handling strategy before setting off.  The options include

  1. Diverting all calls to voicemail and dealing with them when you park during a break in the journey or when you arrive at your destination.
  2. Divert on no answer* to voicemail - allowing you say 30 seconds to pull over and if necessary return the call using the missed caller  CLI.
  3. Switch off divert on no answer and let the phone ring until you have time to park the car. Again if the caller hangs up before you get a chance to answer you can always call them back from their CLI.
  4. Get a proper car telephone or car kit fitted to your car.

*Note that divert on no answer does not work if you are roaming  AND your home network has not provided you with your own exclusive voicemail number.  On some foreign networks all subscribers share a common voicemail box number which is useless to the roamed in network for routing purposes.  If you find yourself in this situation consider using option 1 or change your network.


(Note the above is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice).






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2004-05-24 19:48   U770.12G.42