Kerry motorists paying €50,000 a year for being caught using a phone while driving

Motorists in Kerry are paying almost €50,000 per year for being caught using a mobile phone while driving.

An Garda Siochana have revealed the total revenue generated for all penalty-point offences committed by motorists in Kerry over the past four years.

Over 750 motorists on average are caught using their mobile phone while driving in the county each year.

The penalty points system for driving offences was introduced in Ireland in 2002, while the offence of driving while holding a mobile phone was introduced in 2006.

Following a Freedom of Information Act request, An Garda Siochana revealed that 3,037 mobile phone offences were detected in the county over the past four years.

The number of offences nearly doubled during the period, from over 480 in 2015 to 884 in 2018.

As a result, the total fines paid by motorists in Kerry increased by nearly 100%: in 2015, nearly €30,700 (€30,690) was paid; in 2016, motorists were fined over €63,000 (€63,180); 2017 saw a decrease to over €43,000 (€43,110), while last year the total increased again to nearly €60,000 (€59,820).