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Drivers will be fined 300 yuan (US$45) and have two penalty points added to their license if they are caught using a mobile phone while driving starting this month as police have stepped up checks upon such violations.
Violations not only include making phone calls, text messaging or using WeChat while driving, but also watching videos and browsing websites.
Police will use monitoring cameras and motorcycle patrol units to look into the violations and welcome whistleblowing from the public, according to a news conference held by Shenzhen’s traffic police bureau yesterday.
In December 2017, police put 281 sets of monitoring cameras to check violations such as failing to fasten safety belts and using mobile phones while driving.
Using mobile phones and making or answering phone calls while driving can distract a driver’s attention and easily lead to a traffic accident. This dangerous driving habit can have serious consequences.
Since 2017, Shenzhen has reported a total of 13 phone-related accidents that resulted in four deaths.
The occurrences of accidents when drivers are sending text messages or making phone calls while driving are 23 times and 2.8 times higher than those abiding by proper driving etiquette.
On June 25, a truck driver surnamed Peng caused an accident on Shuiguan Expressway while he was fetching his mobile phone from the passenger seat to answer a phone call. He unconsciously steered the wheel to the right, which caused an overturn of his truck and collision with a vehicle on the nearby lane. Peng was injured, but was luckily not in life-threatening condition.
In the other accident May 21, a driver surnamed Huang hit an e-bike going in the same direction on Pingxi Road in Dapeng. The e-bike driver, surnamed Yan, died at the scene. The cause of the accident was Huang checking his phone’s GPS navigator while driving.
On Dec. 14, 2017, a truck driver surnamed Chen hit an e-bike driver surnamed Tao on Songfu Boulevard in Bao’an District.
Tao was left with light injuries but his passenger surnamed Cheng was killed. The cause of the accident was Chen checking information on his mobile phone while driving.