We often come across people using their mobile phones while driving despite strict laws and penalties in place. It is disappointing to see motorists typing messages on their phones or responding to calls without any regard to their own life or that of other motorists.
However, in my opinion, this issue is further aggravated because of the various competitions held by different radio stations that ask listeners to send in texts to win freebies. In case a listener is selected as the winner, he or she is also required to acknowledge his participation on air. As much as these competitions and great prizes on offer tempt listeners, they can prove to be a recipe for disaster as they are a major distraction while driving.
People should not take things for granted when behind the wheel as no prize is worth risking your life. If one has to participate, it is important to park the car at a safe spot before proceeding. I have seen people driving with their mobile phones in their lap, and others don’t miss an opportunity to fidget with their phones the moment they get stuck in traffic or are at a signal.
There are countless drivers who are so engrossed in typing messages or playing games that they have to be reminded to make a move.
It is also vital that motorists understand the importance of using hands-free while driving, as much as being aware of the dangers of using mobile phones while driving. Moreover, the authorities have to get strict with violators who fail to adhere to road safety laws.
- Fatima Suhail is a Pakistani resident based in Sharjah