Get Ready To Pay RM300 If JPJ Catches You Using Your Phone While Driving

It’s time to break the habit.

Cover image via MD

Using our smartphone while we are driving is a practice most of us are guilty of. It's not only a bad habit but a dangerous one too.

The Transport Ministry has announced that the usage of mobile phones by drivers is one of the 20 offences that will soon be included into the Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS), a combination of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) and Kejara demerit points system.

An express bus driver using a mobile phone and smoking while driving to the Tangkak toll plaza from KL.

Image via FMT

To deter drivers from using their mobile phones, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be extra vigilant on the road

According to Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, the JPJ will be deploying enforcement personnel and two types of cameras – static and mobile – to catch phone-using drivers. Those who are caught red-handed will be fined RM300.

"We prohibit drivers from using their handphones on the road. We have given them a lot of advice, yet there are many who still do so. A strict action was necessary to reduce the number of accidents caused by using handphones while driving," Liow was quoted as saying by The Star Online earlier this week.

And while using navigation apps such as Waze is allowed, the mobile phone should be mounted on a phone holder, Liow added

The Transport Minister explained that the main point of executing this sort of strict enforcement is not to penalise road users but to save lives.

"If none of us breaks the rules, the roads will be safer for everyone. The accident rates are very high. There were 5,310 fatalities from January to September this year while for the whole of last year, there were 7,152 deaths.

"We want to reduce these figures by 10% every year and it is really challenging," The Star Online quoted the Transport Minister as saying.

Image via Shutterstock

Back in 2016, more than 46,000 police summonses were issued to motorists for using their mobile phones while driving

The actual number of summonses issued was 46, 289, an increase of almost 4,000 from 2015 when a total of 42,641 summonses were issued to people.

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