This irresponsible behaviour has been found to be the main cause of road deaths in Abu Dhabi.
More than 13,000 motorists were fined in the first half of the year for using their phones while driving in Abu Dhabi, authorities said.
The drivers, who were fined Dh800 each and given four black points, were found talking or texting on phones; chatting on social media; browsing the Internet; taking photos or videos – all while they are behind the wheel, said the Abu Dhabi Police’s Directorate of Traffic and Patrols in the Central Operations Sector.
“Using mobile phones while driving has become a kind of addiction for many motorists, especially the youth, and it has become a big threat to road safety,” the police said.
This irresponsible behaviour has been found to be the main cause of road deaths in Abu Dhabi, based on a survey released by the police in March. The study showed that some 75 to 80 per cent of traffic accident fatalities and serious injuries were a result of drivers getting distracted by their phones.
Drivers who lose their focus on the road are usually found swerving, driving below the speed limit especially on highways, and even jumping red lights, police said. All these could lead to crashes and serious accidents.
Campaigns have been ramped up to raise awareness of such dangers. The police have been giving lectures to university students and sharing reminders on social media.
Authorities also urged drivers to abide by other traffic laws, including following speed limits, leaving the proper distance between vehicles, and ensuring car tyres are in good condition, among others.
This upcoming Eid, youngsters are warned against street racing and performing road stunts.
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