The new law was finally enforced after approximately one year of sensitisation. Section 62 C (1) of the Vehicles and Roads Traffic Amendment Act No. 1 of 2009 says, “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone unless that person has complied with such conditions as may be prescribed by the minister.”
MiyVue.com understands that the act was passed by parliament on 12th December, 2008, and gazetted/published on 9th January, 2009.
In a recent article Head of the Traffic Department, Inspector Cromwell Henry, in an exclusive interview with MiyVue.com, explained that this piece of legislation is of necessity because, according to the Department’s investigations, accidents have taken place because drivers were using their cellular telephones while operating a vehicle.
“We have investigated accidents that occurred while drivers were using their phones and so the use of the phone was attributed to a number of these accidents. We believe that it is time that we attempt to further curb the use of these devices by enforcing the requirements of the law.”
He further explained that the one-year sensitisation period was enough to draw the motoring public-s attention to the existence of the legislation and it is now time for it to be enforced.
“During the period from 2009 and now, we were increasing public awareness or sensitising the public as to what the law requires and the benefit of not using your cell phone while you are driving. We think that we have sufficiently sensitised the public and we are still seeing indiscriminate use of phones for text messaging and other purposes while driving.”
The Traffic Head informed that from Valentine’s Day, 14th February, 2011, the law would be fully enforced.
Henry confirmed that “Persons who are found using their cell phones while operating a vehicle, would be ticketed and fined $150, which has to be paid within 10 days, or face prosecution where upon conviction, that individual would be liable to a fine of up to $1000.”