Pakistan to add ‘use of mobile phones while driving’ in list of serious offences

The traffic police have decided to include the use of mobile phones while driving in the list of serious offences and have proposed to fine people who involve in such acts.

The police have proposed that motorcyclists using mobile phones while riding should be charged with PKR1,000/- fine, car drivers with PKR1,500/- fine and public transport drivers with PKR2,000/-. The offence also includes making videos while driving, Dawn reported.

“We are waiting for the Cabinet Division to approve the new proposed fines. At present, use of mobile phones comes under the heading of ‘other miscellaneous offences’,” said SP Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) Sarfraz Virk.

As per ITP’s data, 53 accidents have been registered since January, in which vehicles have hit bikes, of which 43 were fatal. 21 accidents have been registered of vehicles hitting pedestrians of which 15 were fatal and 30 collisions between vehicles of which 11 were fatal. The numbers of unregistered cases are not known.

Also, the traffic police does not know if the cause of the above-mentioned accidents was distracted driving, including the 40,527 fines for lane violations.


Meanwhile, the data also showed that since the beginning of this year, a total of 15,233 drivers have been fined a meagre PKR300/- for using mobile phones while driving.

The police have also complained about the shortage of staff, making it difficult for the traffic police to cover majority areas. “We have proposed to increase the staff to 2,600-plus to increase presence across the city, including two new zones. Of these, over 1,200 wardens will be dedicated for the enforcement of regulations on roads,” SP ITP said.

“Our biggest challenge is that citizens in supposedly 100pc literate Islamabad break the law knowing it can have serious consequences. Accidents happen in a blink of an eye. You have to be paying attention all the time. You never know what call, which text, or your post can be your last when you are doing it from behind the wheel,” Dawn quoted another senior police official as saying.