Police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) in Malaysia warn drivers against the danger of using Facebook, Twitter or uploading photos while driving.
In 2011 JPJ issued 100, 143 summonses to Malaysian drivers after they were caught using mobile devices. This year, from January to June 21st, 44,688 summonses were given, with almost 20% of the offences committed in Selangor. Federal traffic deputy chief Asst Comm Mohd Fuad Abd Latiff declared that drivers already know that any form of mobile phone usage while driving is an offence.
“Updating Facebook and Twitter accounts while on the road is a new trend by motorists, especially about traffic conditions. They may think that they are doing a public service by informing about the traffic situation but they are committing an offence and putting themselves and other motorists in danger,” said Mohd Fuad Abd Latiff.
He also added that Section 17A (1) of The Road Transport Act, motorists were liable to a fine of RM300 if caught using their smart phones to take and upload photos while driving. Malaysia Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) director-general Assoc Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon declared that connecting to social networks using the smart phones is more dangerous than sending text messages.
“Connecting to social networks or uploading photos take at least several seconds of attention away from the road but accidents can happen in a less than a second,” he said.