Using handheld devices while driving causes distraction, say Abu Dhabi Police. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Texting while driving increases the risk of the motorist ending up in a traffic accident by 23 times, whereas answering a call triples the risk, Abu Dhabi Police have warned.

Using handheld devices in these ways lead to distracted driving, and are the primary reasons why motorists jump the red light - itself a major traffic offence that also leads to accidents with tragic consequences.

Stay attentive while driving

Police have therefore warned motorists against failing to pay attention to the road, especially at intersections. The force also released an animated video showing the possible ways in which driver inattention at intersections can result in major accidents.

Hefty penalties

According to Law No 5 of 2020 regarding the seizure of vehicles in Abu Dhabi emirate, a Dh1,000 fine is immediately imposed on motorists who jump the red light, along with 12 traffic black points. In addition, the vehicle is impounded for 30 days, and the motorist’s driving licence is suspended for a six-month period. If the vehicle is not released within three months, it is also auctioned off.