Gen Al Zafein said even if the driver is wearing his seatbelt, he can be fined if other passengers on the back seats are not wearing seatbelts. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Motorists continue to use their phones behind the wheel while others refuse or forget to wear their seat belts, say police.

Sharjah Police say they recorded 8,884 seat belt violations by motorists since the beginning of this year. As many as 4,426 instances of using mobile phones while driving were also recorded during the same period, according to Sharjah Police statistics.

Lieutenant Saud Al Shaiba, spokesperson for the Traffic and Patrol Department, told Gulf News: “Wearing the seat belt is important as it reduces injuries in case of an accident. The penalties for not wearing a seat belt is a fine of Dh400 and four black points under the new traffic law,” he said.

He urged drivers to fasten their seat belts and ask all passengers to do so and to strap children under the age of 10 in the back seat.

“I urge mothers to not carry their children on their lap in the car’s front seat even if they are using seat belts.”

In case of an accident or sudden braking, children could be thrown on to the windshield.

Lieutenant Al Shaiba said figures showed most of the most major accidents happened because drivers were using mobile phones while driving.

Police said despite repeated warnings, many motorists insist on breaking the law and using mobile phones while driving.

Using a mobile phone while driving invites a fine of Dh800 and four black points.

Many things can distract people when they are driving — children, pets, the radio — and as wireless technology has expanded, driving distractions have increased to include a range of hand-held devices, such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants, and MP3 players, he added.

Lieutenant Al Shaiba said the traffic department has launched several safety campaigns in the emirate to educate motorists about the 2017 traffic law and its changes.

Police have also posted the articles of the new law and the safety measures and procedures to be followed by motorists on their social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook. YouTube and Instagram).