No texting and driving: Antigua gets tough on motorists

In Antigua, it is now illegal to drive and hold a mobile device.

Motorists who have been “observed and caught” by police using a cell phone while driving will have to pay a fine of EC$500 immediately, the Ministry of Legal Affairs has said.

In a statement, it said that the amendment to the Vehicles and Road Traffic Amendment Act 2018 has gone into effect, making it an offence to drive and hold a mobile device.

“The Vehicle and Road Traffic (Enforcement and Administration) (Amendment) Order 2019 makes it an offence for driving and using handheld device. Contrary regulation 4 of Vehicles and Road Traffic (Mobile Devices) Regulations of 2019 permits police officers to issue a ticket (fixed penalty of 500) if you are observed holding and using mobile device while driving,” the statement said.

It said that the legislation makes it an offence for “individuals to view, send or compose an electronic message” and that police are permitted to issue a ticket “if you are observed holding and using a mobile device while driving”.