The use of mobile phones while driving causes about 80 percent of road accidents in Qatar, according to data by the General Traffic Directorate at the Ministry of Interior.
It has led to the directorate launching a campaign that fines violators $140 (QR500). The same fine will also apply to drivers who don’t wear seatbelts, reported The Peninsula Qatar.
“Motorists using mobile while driving will be booked on the spot by patrols and security and fined. The campaign aims to curb these two violations because many motorists not only use their mobiles for call but also WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media sites for Pokémon GO — a new smartphone game — which can endanger their and others’ safety,” said Major Jaber Mohamed Rashid Odaiba, Assistant Director, Media & Traffic Awareness Department.
While the campaign is aimed at reducing road accidents, it is also meant to raise awareness among motorists, added Odaiba.
“It aims to highlight the importance of using seatbelt and how dangerous it is to use mobiles while driving. We want motorists to avoid such accidents. So far, there has been no significant increase in the number of violations. We don’t want to disrupt traffic. We want everything to go smoothly,” he said.
About 94 percent of people surveyed online by the directorate agreed that the use of mobile phones while driving is the major cause of car accidents.
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