8 December 2018, Durban, South Africa – Prior to the arrival of the Holiday Season, the Durban Metro Police in partnership with UNITAR officially launched their “No Texting & Driving campaign”.
Driver distraction is a major risk factor for road traffic injuries and fatalities. Using mobile phones can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, and their minds off the road and the surrounding situation. Drivers using mobile phones are approximately 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using a mobile phone. Using a phone while driving slows reaction times (notably braking reaction time, but also reaction to traffic signals), and makes it difficult to keep in the correct lane, and to keep the correct following distances.
The “No texting & Driving Campaign” aims to raise awareness about distracted driving and that texting considerably increases the risk of a crash.
Durban Metro Police Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, said Durban is the first city in South Africa to partner with UNITAR to urge road users to refrain from using their cellphones while driving. "When you see the results of texting and driving, you will wish you never drove with your cellphone near you," he stressed.
At a UNITAR conference that we attended in Johannesburg at the end of November, we came up with the initiative to unite against this issue. When you look at the results from the crashes that are caused by texting and driving, they are horrific," Sewpersad said.
UNITAR is committed to work with multiple sectors such as transport, police, and. education to raising public awareness and implementing actions that address the safety of road users.
Photo 1: Don't Text and Drive Campaign launched in Durban, South Africa
Photo 2: Durban Metro Police Officers during the Campaign