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Giving the wrong message

Jul 17,2018 - Last updated at Jul 17,2018

All of a sudden, it dawned on the Central Traffic Department that there is a direct link between road accidents, including fatal ones, and the use of mobile phones while driving. The traffic department, therefore, decided to launch a week-long campaign against using mobile phones for texting or whatever other reason by motorists starting on Sunday.

It is great that the authorities have finally awaken to the urgent need to put a stop to this reckless use of mobile phones while driving. Two things come immediately to mind in this context: Why is the campaign for only one week? Targeting the use of mobile phones while driving should be a long-term campaign and not just for a week. Ending or even relaxing the campaign after only one week may give reckless drivers the wrong message and encourage them to return to their irresponsible use of mobile phones once the campaign is over. The campaign must be, instead, continuous, especially when there is a direct link between the use of mobile phones while driving and road accidents. The Royal Automobile Club of Jordan found that such illegal use of mobile phones increases the probability of road accidents four folds.

The other side of the issue is the low penalty for such use of mobile phones, as only JD15 is being meted out for a single violation. This is much too low penalty given the gravity of road accidents that often take peoples' lives or cause grievous injuries.

The traffic department says that the campaign is to raise awareness about the danger of using mobile phones while behind the steering wheel. Fine, and we all should be thankful to our traffic authorities for this abrupt awareness of this danger on our roads and streets, however, the ultimate purpose of such a campaign must not be confined to raising awareness but rather to combat it and even eradicate it altogether once and for all.

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Comments

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH PREVENTIVE MEASURE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN JORDAN WITHIN THE LAST THIRTY YEARS AND THE COUNTRY SHOULD BE HAPPY AND GRATEFUL ABOUT THIS. THERE IS NOTHING THAT CONTRIBUTE TO MORE ACCIDENTS ANY WHERE ON THE GLOBE MORE THAN THE DISTRACTIONS FROM TOYS OF TECHNOLOGY. THE PUNISHMENT FOR THIS SHOULD BE TOUGH AND COSTLY TO THE OFFENDERS WITH ON EXCEEPTIONS BUT EMERGENCY USE ONLY.

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