Dubai cop calls for more penalty for using phone while driving

A federal traffic law imposing a Dh200 fine against motorists using mobile phones while driving is not enough as such offences amount to reckless driving, Dubai’s traffic police chief was reported on Sunday as saying.

Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen said there should be tougher punishment for those offences, adding that Dubai is pushing ahead with a drive to reduce accidents to attain a zero-death target on roads.

“The fine imposed motorists for using mobile phones while driving is not deterrent,” he said in a lecture in Dubai, according to Albayan newspaper.

He said more stringent penalties should be introduced against offences involving speaking over the phone or texting by mobile while driving on the grounds such acts reduce the drivers’ concentration and their ability to avert accidents.

“This behaviour and other acts, like reading a newspaper while driving and adding make up by female drivers are all classified under the law as reckless driving that poses a threat to road users,” he said.

Zafeen said Dubai had managed to cut road deaths to 134 in 2011 from 332 in 2007, adding that it was pursuing a strategy to reach zero deaths in 2020.