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General News
‘No Mobile Phone While Driving’ 10/11/2007
Using mobile phones while driving will soon be punishable offence in Ghana. Motorists will have to find a safe parking area and use their phones or be liable for infringing the law, when the Legislative Instrument (LI) that operationalises the Road Traffic Act 2004 comes into effect. The Manager of Planning and Education at the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Mrs May Obiri-Yeboah, said the LI was now being studied at the Attorney General’s Office for onward submission to Parliament.

The NRSC has in the meantime started an educational campaign to sensitise motorists to the dangers of using mobile phones while driving.
According to her, studies the world over had shown that mobile phones were a cause of accidents on the roads.Although there were no studies conducted in Ghana on mobile phone use and driving, Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said the country did not need to reinvent the wheel, but could learn from international best practices based on studies already undertaken to protect road users.

She said proposals made in the LI were for the banning of the use of mobile phones while driving.“Although others are proposing the use of the handsfree set, we are for a total ban,” she added.Explaining, she said receiving a bad message on the phone with or without a handsfree set whilst driving was likely to elicit the same response of shock, which could distract the driver.“For us (the NRSC), if your phone rings and you have to pick it, find a safe place and park to listen to the call. It is the safest thing to do,” she said.

Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said with the increasing use of mobile phones in the country, with some people holding more than one mobile set, it had become necessary to legislate and educate Ghanaians on the use of the device while driving.

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