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According to statistics from Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), texting while driving makes one 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident, and reduces the reaction time of drivers by 50 per cent.

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A picture shot on Sunday shows a man using his cell phone while driving on a busy road in Dubai. (Photo by Rahul Gajjar)

Despite the best efforts of local authorities, distracted drivers continue to be a major concern on the roads of the UAE.

We’ve all seen drivers – many of them young – happily texting, using social media or chattering away, oblivious to the dangers they are causing to themselves and others on the roads. Far too often, doing so results in accidents, injuries, and tragic deaths.

According to statistics from Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), texting while driving makes one 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident, and reduces the reaction time of drivers by 50 per cent.

In response, the Khaleej Times is launching a campaign to spread awareness of the dangers of texting while driving, and call for tougher sanctions for those caught in the act of using their mobile phone while driving.

Thankfully, the UAE is already mulling over new and harsher penalties for those caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel – even if they are stopped at a red light.

According to a proposal submitted by the Federal Traffic Council to the Ministry of the Interior earlier this year, the fine will be raised from Dh200 and four black points to Dh1,000 and 12 black points, along with the seizure of the offending vehicle. More info

By Amira Agarib and Bernd Debusmann Jr./Dubai  www.khaleejtimes.com

A picture shot on Sunday shows a man using his cell phone while driving on a busy road in Dubai.
(Photo by Rahul Gajjar)

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