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Tue 29 Mar 2016 01:48 PM

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UAE said to mull ban on hands-free calls while driving

Ministry of Interior in talks with other countries to impose GCC-wide rules to improve road safety

UAE said to mull ban on hands-free calls while driving
(Image for illustrative purpose only)

The UAE's Ministry of Interior is working up new regulations to limit use of smartphones in cars, including a ban on making hands-free calls while driving, local media have reported.

Gulf News quoted a ministry official as saying new regulations would ban Bluetooth-enabled calls as well as speaking on the phone using earphones.

The ministry is reportedly in talks with other governments to ensure the regulations are, to an extent, GCC-wide.

The move comes after international studies have shown that speaking on the phone while driving – even using hands-free kits – distracts the driver’s attention and can cause road accidents.

Khalfan Saeed Al Naqbi, head of traffic planning and policy at the ministry, said: “Use of phones either through Bluetooth or headphones impacts driving. Whether one uses the hands or not, speaking on the phone can have an adverse impact depending on what is [said].

“It could make the driver angry or cause him stress and that adversely impacts his driving. This is why we working on updating our regulations on phone use.”

Al Naqbi revealed that the new regulations would cover all electronic devices that can be used to communicate with others while driving, such as ‘smart’ watches.

 “Road accident data has shown us that use of some electronic devices impacts driving and that is the reason why we are working on regulations or ways that will limit the use of gadgets like Google Glass, smart watches as well as other telematics that are installed in vehicles,” he was quoted as saying.

He added that the ministry is in talks with traffic authorities of other GCC countries so that there is some “uniformity” in regulations across the region.

“All GCC countries are closely connected and vehicles cross borders regularly so it is necessary to have the changes at the regional level.”

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Mosa 4 years ago

What about talking to myself loudly when I am all alone in the car and bored in traffic?

Ali 4 years ago

And what about talking to other passengers in the car while driving?? Why are we giving licenCe to all these drivers who barely can know the difference between the brakE and gas pedals and then asking why accidents happen??

Ed B 4 years ago

Pls include addressing cars with black tinted widows front and back that we still see driving every day. If you cannot see the drivers, how will you fine them....