8 in 10 say it's okay to phone and drive

DOUBLE STANDARD: Although 83 per cent of drivers here feel it is safe for them to use a phone while driving, 93 per cent of those drivers say it is dangerous for others to do so.


    Nov 06, 2013

    8 in 10 say it's okay to phone and drive

    EIGHTY-THREE per cent of drivers here feel it is safe to use their mobile phones while driving and admitted to doing so in the past year, a survey by Samsung found.

    However, about 93 per cent of them said it is dangerous for other drivers to use their mobile phones while driving. Most would also tell the driver not to do so if they are travelling in the same car.

    "Complacency seemed (to be) a key cause of the unsafe behaviour - when asked why respondents used their phones in this manner, the feeling that it was safe for them to do so was the response most cited," Samsung said in a press release yesterday.

    The South Korean electronics giant commissioned the survey to target motorists who cannot leave their phones alone while on the road. The survey covered the driving habits and perceptions of 513 drivers in relation to the use of mobile phones while driving.

    The survey, which is part of Samsung's The Road Comes First campaign, also found that 16 per cent of drivers have been in an accident or had a near miss while driving because they were distracted by their mobile phones.

    Police statistics showed that phone-and-drive offences have risen sharply.

    From January to September, the police issued 2,755 such summonses, up from 1,893 in the same period a year earlier.

    Last month, Samsung launched the road-safety campaign, hoping it would drive home key messages such as "Drive. Don't text" and "Drive. Don't call".

    Under the Road Traffic Act, first-time phone-and-drive offenders can be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to six months, or both. Repeat offenders will receive up to double the penalty.

    All offenders are slapped with 12 demerit points and will have their mobile phones seized by the Traffic Police for investigation.