Texting, chatting on mobiles while driving to attract fines

The General Directorate of Traffic will soon begin a campaign against motorists who send messages, play games, and chat on cellphone while driving, a source at the General Directorate of Traffic told The Peninsula.

“Now, any kind of engagement with mobile will be considered a violation like playing games, text messages and check other mobile applications. Earlier, only speaking over cellphones was considered a violation,” he said. The violation in this case is QR500 and includes addition of 3 negative points. Before starting this drive, we will conduct awareness campaign to inform people about the dangers of using mobiles while driving. The campaign will be conducted through newspapers and social media.

Earlier, the traffic law banned talking on mobile while driving, but that clause has now changed and it includes any kind of engagement with mobile that distracts motorists, he added. “We have noticed that many drivers engage in video games, text chatting and other mobile applications, and some are busy in checking social networking sites, which may sometimes lead to a sudden accidents,” he noted.

The Ministry of Interior earlier said that the traffic patrols register the traffic violations directly against the users of mobile while driving. Using mobile while driving is considered a misconduct that poses a serious risk to the life of the driver and other drivers. It is one of the most common causes of serious traffic accidents caused due to lack of concentration and preoccupation with mobiles.
The source said: “The General Directorate of Traffic found that many traffic accidents happened not just because of over-speeding but drivers’ engagement with mobile phones while driving. Now department will take new measures to reduce the accidents which is caused by using mobiles”. “We asked the authorities to increase the violations fine but they rejected, and they changed the violation to mean any kind of engage with mobile and not only talking,” he stressed.

Source: The Peninsula