Stop using mobile phones when behind the wheel. It's criminal
The opinion piece, For your kids' sake, put that cell phone down while driving (KT, Sept 2), was spot on about the risks of distracted driving. The authorities in the UAE have strict policies and hefty fines for traffic violations. That's primarily to deter accidents and ensure discipline on roads. However, mishaps still happen. And the sheer reason why this still continues is because motorists are callous to safety rules. I have a number of times honked at motorists who use phones while driving.
Use of cellular phones while driving poses a big risk. And more so when the phones are handheld while talking. It distracts us even if we think we are fully aware and concentrated on the road. I have seen drivers driving considerably slow even when in the fast lanes, and randomly applying brakes despite no traffic on the road because they are engrossed in talking over the phone. Most vehicles these days come equipped with blue tooth systems, or at least have an auxiliary mode that allows hands free use of mobile phone. So I wonder why don't people make use of such features?
I have stopped driving and use public transport to commute. It is hassle-free and a safer mode of commuting.
I understand, sometimes there can be emergency calls to be made or attended to. But in such cases drivers should park their cars and talk. It is not right to endanger your life and of other motorists by using mobile phones when behind the wheel.
-Mathew Litty, Dubai