More eyes on the road to catch motorists using mobile phones while driving

It’s about to get harder for motorists who use their mobile phones while driving to get away with their crime.

With an extra pair of eyes on the road, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai warned on Sunday (Nov 18) that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will come down hard on errant drivers who continue to use their phones behind the wheel, reported The Star.

Datuk Seri Liow spoke to reporters after officiating the closing ceremony of Satu Komuniti Satu JPJ (SKSJ).

Enforcement personnel as well as cameras – both static and mobile – will be deployed to catch these drivers red-handed, and those caught, will be fined RM300 ($72) .

But it doesn’t just stop there.

The usage of mobile phones by drivers will soon be included in the Automated Awareness Safety System – a combination of the Automated Enforcement System and demerit points system.

Drivers will be able to use of navigation apps such as Waze as long as their mobile phones are mounted on a phone holder.

With high accident rates and 7,152 fatalities in 2016 alone, Datuk Seri Liow maintains that the aim of executing strict enforcement is to save lives, not to penalise road users.

He said: “If none of us break the rules, the roads will be safer for everyone.”

“We prohibit drivers from using their hand-phones on the road. We have given them a lot of advice, yet there are many who still do so”.

In fact, the number of motorists using their mobile phones while driving has been on an incline despite repeated warnings and fines awarded to offenders by authorities. Over 46,000 police summonses were issued for the very offence in 2016.