Date
20 September 2017
Calls are growing for tougher penalties against motorists who are found texting or watching online video while driving. Photo: http://shanghaibutter.com
Calls are growing for tougher penalties against motorists who are found texting or watching online video while driving. Photo: http://shanghaibutter.com

Heavier penalties urged for distracted driving

Traffic experts have proposed heavier penalties on drivers who are found texting, watching online videos or surfing the internet while driving, Sky Post reported Monday.

According to a survey conducted in August and September by insurance firm AXA, 57 percent of people admitted that they send out text messages while driving, while 27 percent said they surf online news, or even watch TV dramas.

More than 500 people were interviewed for the survey. 

To Sun-tong, director of taxi driver branch of the Motor Transport Workers General Union, was quoted as saying that many taxi drivers install a number of electronic gadgets, such as smartphones and laptops, in their cars. Using mobile devices while driving is distracting and could lead to accidents.

He called on transport authorities to revise rules soon to impose heavier punishment on people who cause traffic accidents due to distraction and careless driving.

Under current rules, only GPS devices are allowed to be installed in front of the drivers’ seat.

To said he seldom heard of cases where drivers were prosecuted for use of electronic devices. Only those making phone calls while driving have made it to police prosecution records, he noted.

Lawmaker Chan Kin-por proposed that insurance companies should reclaim compensation to drivers if the traffic accidents were caused by drivers’ carelessness due to use of electronic gadgets while on the road.

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