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17.03.2009 Technology

MP calls for ban of mobile phones while driving

By Frank Mensah Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for the Ahafo-Ano North constituency in the Ashanti region, Hon. Richard Akuoko Adiyia says he is going to spearhead and advocate the passage of a legislation to ban the use of mobile phones whilst driving, and the imposition of spot fines on drivers found culpable.

According to him, even though it will be difficult sponsoring such legislation, which is aimed at reducing the spate of road accidents on our roads, he believes such a move could contribute immensely in curbing road accidents in the country.

"I believe that there should be a concrete effort to invest in this additional legislation and enforcement of the existing legislation, and empowering the capacities of the related institutions on improving and promoting road safety", he mentioned.

The MP stated on the floor of Parliament recently that bad information received during a conversation can be devastating enough to affect the performance of a driver at any particular moment, which can lead to road accidents.

He gave an instance that if a driver receives a message while driving, that his child had been knocked down and admitted in a critical condition, it could alter the concentration of the driver which could have an adverse effect on his driving performance.

He stated that most driver victims who survived accidents either could not tell the cause of the accident or tend to make untrue statements to cover the real cause of the accident, which might in some cases be due to distraction by the use of mobile phones or fidgeting with other gadgets in the vehicle.

Hon. Akuoko Adiyia said though the authorities of the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) as well as researchers into the causes of accidents admit that there were no figures or statistics that can prove the use of mobile phones as a major cause of accidents in the country, they believe it could be a major contributory factor.

He said DSP Victor Oduro Abrokwa, the Ashanti Regional Commander of Police MTTU attests to the fact that most accident victims either do not live to tell their story, or those who survive lie to conceal the real cause of the accident for fear of being prosecuted, but confirmed the possibility of a correlation between mobile phone usage and accidents.

He also said most drivers who boast about the fact that they are able to combine mobile phone usage effectively while driving, and in some cases with hands-free gadgets without any eventualities, should put a stop to it since it can cause severe mayhems.