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Most motorists in UAE distracted while using mobile phones: Survey

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
Filed on November 16, 2019 | Last updated on November 16, 2019 at 06.05 am
Motorists, UAE, distracted, using, mobile, phones, Survey, distraction
Traffic law bans drivers from texting, taking photos, eating or even applying makeup while driving.- Wam file photo

Eating and drinking were chose as a distraction by 10.9 per cent of the respondents.

Use of mobile phones has been pinpointed as the leading cause of distraction among motorists who cause serious accidents, according to an online survey conducted by the Ministry of Interior recently.

In the survey, 71.4 per cent of the respondents chose the use of mobile phones while driving as the main reason drivers are being distracted on the roads while 17.7 per cent said it was attending to children. Eating and drinking were chose as a distraction by 10.9 per cent of the respondents.

The traffic authorities had recorded 88,619 mobile phone violations committed by drivers across the UAE in 2018 - an average of 243 offences per day. A total of 323,102 mobile phone offences were registered during the last three years across the UAE.

Distractions while driving claimed the lives of 59 people in 438 accidents across the UAE in 2018, according to the UAE traffic authorities.

Traffic law bans drivers from texting, taking photos, eating or even applying makeup while driving.

In 2017, the Abu Dhabi Police had fined 30,402 motorists for using mobile phones.

Motorists found getting distracted as they talk over phone while driving are fined Dh800 and four traffic points, according to the traffic law.

In April this year, a traffic workshop in Abu Dhabi recommended the use of modern technology to control the increasing use of mobile phones by drivers while behind the wheels.

The workshop, organised by the Abu Dhabi police in coordination with the public prosecutors, suggested that radars should be introduced to detect mobile phone violators so as to reduce accidents.

Brig Khalifa Mohammed Al Khaili, director of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, said: "Talking on mobile phones or texting while driving causes serious accidents that result in death, injuries and financial losses.

"Motorists should avoid using phones while driving their vehicles because it breaks the concentration of the driver and could lead the vehicle to veer off its lane, which could result in accidents."

Traffic authorities have warned motorists to stop taking pictures or 'selfies' while driving because it breaks the attention of the driver and hampers their response to traffic movements, making them jump a red signal or swerving into another lane without notice.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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