Increased uptake on mobile phones to tap into social media platforms and applications could lead to a spike in cell phone usage while driving. The application pool casts a wide net, with apps like Facebook, Mxit and Twitter to Blackberry Messenger and WhatsApp all tempting drivers into using their phones on the road.
"Drivers should understand that the risk of crashing while texting on a mobile phone is six times more than when driving at the legal alcohol limit. The only way this can be stopped and brought under control is through self discipline and strict law enforcement," said the Automobile Association (AA).
The minister of transport Sbu Ndebele last week released the preliminary crash data for December 2010 and it is evident that a lot more still needs to be done in order to reach the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety target of halving road deaths by 2020.
During the month of December, 3 432 were arrested for reckless and drunk driving, a clear indication that thousands of South Africans still insist on putting their lives as well as those of fellow road users in danger by breaking the rules of the road.
"Changing driver behaviour is the first step towards decreasing the high number of crashes and fatalities on our roads. Itís a new year and a perfect time to start afresh and let go of old bad driving habits such as texting and driving, which is worse than driving under the influence of alcohol. The AA supports a cellphone free zone in all motor vehicles on our roads," concludes the AA.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126