What are you allowed to do while driving?
A motorist should not do anything that could be interpreted as not being in complete control of the vehicle.
1) Activities While Driving
With regard to other activities like eating, drinking, changing the radio or applying make-up; there’s no specific indication in the National Road Traffic Act that expressly prohibits a driver from performing these actions. However, according to Regulation 308, cited below, a driver may not occupy a position in a vehicle where he or she doesn’t have complete control of the vehicle. For example, a woman applying her make-up in the traffic means she does not have her hands on the steering neither does she have an unobstructed view of the road. These are tantamount to distractions and can lead to dangerous consequences. Thus, even though the Act is silent on these particular actions, it is advisable that a motorist does not do anything that could be interpreted as not being in complete control of the vehicle. Please read Regulation 308 below which relates to the general duties of a driver / passenger on a public road:
1) No person driving or having a vehicle on a public road shall—
- permit any person, animal or object to occupy any position in or on such vehicle which may prevent the driver thereof from exercising complete control over the movements of the vehicle or signalling his or her intention of stopping, slowing down or changing direction;
- when driving such vehicle, occupy such position that he or she does not have complete control over the vehicle or does not have a full view of the roadway and the traffic ahead of such vehicle.
The National Road Traffic Act expressly prohibits the use of a mobile phone and further states that it is illegal to even hold a cellphone with your hand or any part of your body whilst you are driving. There is no exception in this matter, that is, it doesn’t matter whether you are on the phone or not! Regulation 308 A is a prohibition on the use of communication devices while driving. Please read Regulation 308 below:
(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a public road—
- while holding a cellular or mobile telephone or any other communication device in one or both hands or with any other part of the body;
- while using or operating a cellular or mobile telephone or other communication device unless such a cellular or mobile telephone or other communication device is affixed to the vehicle or is part of the fixture in the vehicle and remains so affixed while being used or operated, or is specially adapted or designed to be affixed to the person of the driver as headgear, and is so used, to enable such driver to use or operate such telephone or communication device without holding it in the manner contemplated in paragraph (a), and remains so affixed while being used or operated.
(2) For the purposes of this regulation—
- the word “headgear” includes for the purposes of this regulation a device which specially designed or adapted to allow the driver to use a cellular or mobile telephone or other communication device in such a manner that he or she does not hold it in one or both hands or with any other part of the body, and which is connected to the cellular or mobile telephone or other communication device concerned, directly or indirectly, while being fitted to or attached to one or both ears of the driver; and
- the phrases “cellular or mobile telephone or any other communication device” and “cellular or mobile telephone or other communication device”, excludes land mobile radio transmission and reception equipment operating in the frequency band 2 megahertz to 500 megahertz that is affixed to the vehicle or is part of the fixture in the vehicle.