In UAE – Phones Can Make You Immobile
- Phones Can Make You Immobile
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DUBAI: Use your phone whilst driving and you’ll risk having your car confiscated for a month thanks to tough new traffic laws.

The smart phone seems to have heralded a laissez faire attitude with drivers taking selfies, having hour long conversations, texting and updating their status, all whilst at the wheel. People are combining driving with reading, eating (including someone eating a pancake with a knife and fork; a new take on “hands free”) and even grooming, one man, who considered himself a ‘safe driver’, admitted to driving with razor, cream, gel and comb to prepare his “interview look” whilst en route to it.

So, What’s the cost of not having your car for a month? or the cost of that selfish selfie or that too-mobile call? The answer is – a lot. If you’re a one car family with separate jobs to get to and kids with different after school activities such as football, you’ll be footing a very stiff bill.

In Dubai you’ll be slightly better off as it has the metro, but with only two lines, Red and Green, running from Jebel Ali to Rashidiya, it’s likely you’ll need a taxi at least part of the way. If you live in JLT and work in Dubai Media City, a distance of 10 km, you’d spend AED 22 a day taxiing one way, which, over a month, would come to around AED 884.

The school bus service for your kids  – based on souqalmal.com comparing site’s analysis – can range from AED 300 to AED 1,000 per month depending on where you live, so with 2 kids and a partner who works in a different location, you’re looking at paying nearly AED 4,000 for you careless, car less month, a very big fine indeed. Probably the best option would be to hire a car, starting from AED 1,500  a month.

Looking back over this expensive and stressful month – can you even remember why or to whom you were on the phone to? And if they phoned you it could certainly test that friendship!

“Mobile phones are more dangerous than alcohol”, says Dubai traffic police chief Col Saif Al Mazrouei. 136 people a day are caught driving while on the phone in Dubai alone and 140 people caught speeding were on the phone at the time. A total of 147 deaths and 1,684 injuries occurred on the road during the first three months of 2015 alone – all due to sudden swerving, negligence and inattention.

The smart phone seems to have heralded a laissez faire attitude with drivers taking selfies, having hour long conversations, texting and updating their status, all whilst at the wheel. People are combining driving with reading, eating (including someone eating a pancake with a knife and fork; a new take on “hands free”) and even grooming, one man, who considered himself a ‘safe driver’, admitted to driving with razor, cream, gel and comb to prepare his “interview look” whilst en route to it.

This all sounds quite amusing until you hear Col Al Mazrouei describing how “One man, who was crushed and killed upon impact, was extracted from his vehicle with his phone still in his hand.” Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds at 100 km/ hour means you’re effectively driving blind for 55 meters.

All this explains why, instead of getting a piddling AED 200 (US$54) fine, the Federal Traffic Council will now impound your car for 1 month.

Once you’re back in the driver’s seat, one thing’s for sure, you won’t be looking over your shoulder and  making those not-so-clever smartphone moves again.

 

The preceding was sponsored content by souqalmal.com

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