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Indians top list of offenders using mobiles while driving

By Mohammed Al Sadafy

Dubai Police statistics reveal that 626 Dubai drivers were fined for using a mobile phone at the wheel in December 2011, a decline of almost 12 per cent compared with the 710 violations recorded in the same month of 2010.

This decline comes as a result of the launch of a campaign titled ‘Atahad,’ which was adopted by the Dubai-based Arabic daily ‘Emarat Al Youm’ with the participation of the Ministry of Interior and the General Department of Traffic of Dubai and a number of other governmental and private institutions in the country.

Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director, Dubai Traffic Police, confirmed that “Indians are top offenders when it comes to using phone while driving, followed by Emiratis, Pakistanis, other Arabs and Europeans”. He did add that Indians come out as the worst offenders because they are the largest community in the emirate.

Maj. Gen Al Zafeen said: “Using a mobile phone while driving is one of the factors for accidents and must be associated with offenses like speeding and other factors such as the condition of the car and the tyres in addition to the road and the experience of the driver.”

“There is a direct correlation between the use of mobiles while driving and the probability of accidents. This increases on highways like Emirates Road, where there are heavy vehicles.”

Research confirms that human beings cannot focus fully when they are performing two actions at the same time (driving and talking on the phone by hand or using it to send and receive messages).

Studies indicate that driving efficiency can decline by 75 per cent in case of using a phone while driving, and traffic experts advise using the headset in case of urgent phone calls while driving, but recommend reducing the vehicle’s speed to less than 60 km / hour in such a case.