Residents question $500 fine for using mobile device while driving

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By Elesha George

There are more questions than answers after the Ministry of Legal Affairs announced changes to the 1947 Vehicles and Road Traffic Act that would have motorists fined for using their cellphones and other mobile devices while driving.

The principal Act was amended in September 2018 and repealed an entire section (Section 56 Careless Driving) and changed it to state that “(1) If any person drives a motor vehicle on a road without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road by— (a) holding and using a hand-held mobile device; (b) engaging in any other like activity that can cause a distraction, he commits an offence.”

However, as police officers ready themselves to enforce that law, residents are questioning its ultimate effectiveness. When the story broke late last week, OBSERVER’s social media platforms buzzed with comments and remarks, majority of which questioned whether police officers would also be charged under this amendment.

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  1. How are they going to prove this? Sounds like an exercise in targeting persons they don’t like. The fine so that it’s cheaper than hiring a lawyer but high enough to hurt innocent persons. We can not get persons to stop for a flashing red light which I still think is dumb traffic management. Even the police don’t know what to make of this law. Hence forth I will be using my hands free device or you will leave a message at the bleeping beep.


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