Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police Traffic Control has stepped up patrols to nab those who use handheld mobile phones while behind the wheel, as more studies proved that the practice is a major cause of accidents resulting in death and severe injuries.
The Traffic Directorate in Abu Dhabi has rolled out an awareness campaign to teach road users that the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving diminishes the driver's response by 50 per cent.
Studies have also proved that the practice also reduces the drivers concentration enormously thus affecting speed control and the driver's ability to maintain a safe distance between his car and the next.
The awareness drive coincides with GCC Traffic Week, which is being observed all across the country starting tomorrow.
Director of the Metropolitan Traffic Directorate at the Abu Dhabi Police Lieutenant-Colonel Ahmad Al Shehi said that the practice of using hand-held mobile phones while driving causes delays in traffic and results in traffic congestion.
He also urged people to avoid typing or reading text messages while driving their vehicles.
Al Shehi also said that traffic patrols will issue violation tickets on highways and inside streets against drivers caught using cell phones or text messaging while driving.
He added that 18,787 such violations were reported in 2009.
Al Shehi pointed out that drivers make a lot of mistakes if the phone starts ringing while they are driving.
He said drivers were likely to be distracted and added that they could start searching for the device in their pockets or elsewhere — all of which are factors that may possibly lead to accidents.