New road traffic penalties dropped by the Department of Transport

A spokesperson for the transport minister says the issue will have to be revisited

Road traffic penalties, dropped, texting, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Evan ODwyer

A woman, posed by model, texting on her phone whilst driving | Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Archive/PA Images

The Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe says he hit "a number of difficulties" in relation to expanding road traffic offences.

It comes after new penalties for drivers using sites like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp were dropped by the Department of Transport due to time constraints on the updated Road Traffic Bill.

One solicitor claims the laws around texting while driving are difficult to enforce and sometimes unworkable for gardaí.

Evan O'Dwyer says the new laws  make good headlines - but are proving difficult to enforce.

Mr O'Dwyer says that any fresh limits on using your phone will be strongly tested in the courts.

"When road traffic acts are being contemplated, you have the headline-type offences - such as 'we're now going to introduce a ban on texting while driving' - and that makes great headlines, it makes great press" he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"But when you actually get down into the nitty-gritty of it, how are the guards going to enforce that?".

"And inevitably if people are going to get penalty points to their driving licence, the kitchen sink is going to be thrown at it by way of a defence and to see if there's any loophole" he added.

While Minister Dononhue told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk he made the decision to continue work on the Bill after a number of roadblocks.