Stern warning to drivers over use of phones

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Reckless drivers have been warned that they will be charged if caught using cellphones while driving in KwaZulu-Natal.

As the festive season approaches, scores of visitors from all over the country are expected to flock to the province.

Most of the accidents are caused by misdemeanors such as using cellphones while driving.

MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Cele warned yesterday that the law would hit hard on those caught using cellphones while driving. Cele said traffic officers would go all-out on major routes to target offenders.

"Using cellphones while driving puts drivers and other people at risk. Failing to comply will pose serious consequences," he said.

He said overseas research showed that talking on a cellphone while driving was a common practice in congested urban areas, which led to major distraction, in particular at intersections and traffic lights.

International surveys have shown that among 837 drivers talking on cellphones while driving, almost 50 percent swerved or drifted into another lane, 23 percent tailgated, 21 percent cut someone off and 18 percent nearly hit another vehicle.

"There is growing concern of the dangers posed by motorists using cellular phones while driving.

"With the festive season approaching, using a cellphone while driving puts the driver and other people at risk, and this will not be tolerated.

"We are warning all the motorists to comply with the law or face the full might of the law," Cele added.