A tractor driver drew the ire of An Garda Síochána in the south of the country over the weekend – for “checking their messages” – and not getting the message.

The tractor driver in question was hauled in on Saturday (June 26) by Gardaí in Waterford after being spotted “checking their messages” on their phone.

Following subsequent inspection, it was discovered that the tractor’s tax was out by 3,250 days – almost nine years. A fixed charge penalty notice (FCPN) was issued with a court date also to be booked, the local Gardaí said.

In a tweet this morning (Monday, June 28) the An Garda Síochána Twitter page said:

“Gardaí on patrol in Waterford on Saturday observed the driver of this tractor checking their messages on their phone.

“The tractor was stopped and it was discovered his tax expired in 2012, around 3250 days previous.

“An FCPN was issued and court proceedings are to follow.”

According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), using a mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash.

Under Irish law, you can only use your mobile phone while driving if you’re dialling 999 or 112 for an emergency.

If the Gardaí charge you, it is a fine of €60 and you will get two penalty points, according to the RSA. If you don’t pay the fine, you may be convicted in court, get four penalty points and charged €2,000.

Considering that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions, phone use and driving is an issue that everyone needs to think differently about, the authority warns.

Meanwhile, the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) is calling on its members to enforce a zero-tolerance approach to using mobile phones while driving tractors this summer.