In their latest campaign, Spain's traffic authority the DGT has warned drivers about the dangers of using WhatsApp and similar apps when driving.
Director, Pere Navarro also went as far as calling on people not to send people messages via the popular social media app if they know that someone may be driving and for passengers to discourage drivers if they can see that they intend to use their phone.
The dangers of using mobile phones when driving was once again stressed to the public at a recent presentation by Navarro who warned parents that sending a message to your child via WhatsApp while driving, was a case of "What if your message was the last one your child read while driving?".
The campaign comes after figures for 2018 highlighted that around 32% of all fatal accidents on Spanish roads were due to distractions with the major cause the use of mobile phones and similar devices. In fact, the use of mobile phones has been the leading cause of deaths on Spanish roads since 2016.
During his presentation, Navarro stressed that there were over 104,000 incidents involving the use of mobile phones while driving in 2018, a crime that is currently punishable with a loss of three points and a 200 Euro fine. The DGT will request that once a new government is formed that the legislation is overhauled with an increase to six points, however, the 200 Euro fine will be maintained.
In anticipation of the number of incidents increasing this year, the DGT will implement 16 cameras previously used to check seat belts to monitor drivers using their phones at the wheel.
The presentation also highlighted the fact that a third of all Spanish drivers had admitted to having used a phone whilst driving in the last 12 months according to a recent DGT report.
The DGT also emphasised that the use of a phone while driving increased the risk of an accident by three and by 23 when texting and reading messages.
They also stated that messaging or calling someone while driving just to find out whether they were any nearer to reaching their destination or not was completely unnecessary and would only serve to distract the driver.
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