New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The International Road Federation (IRF) has expressed concern over increasing texting on mobile phones while driving, saying that strong campaigning is needed against it.
A statement from the IRF, a Geneva-based global group working for safer roads, said Tuesday that SMSing while driving, new in-vehicle communication technologies including GPS systems and increased use of phones for listening to music with headphones while crossing roads by pedestrians is becoming a serious and growing threat to road safety across the world, including India.
“Distracted driving is a serious and growing threat to road safety. With more and more people owning mobile phones and the rapid introduction of new in-vehicle communication systems, this problem is likely to escalate in the country in the coming years,” said K.K. Kapila, chairman of the IRF.
“The problem could be addressed by national laws and awareness campaigns, and some organisations can develop guidelines and standards to make in-vehicle information and communication systems less distracting and publicize legislation and enforcement,” he said.
“IRF plans to launch social media campaign to educate drivers and bring in behavioural changes to reduce use of mobile phones and get less distracted by other technological devices,” he added.
As per IRF statistics, 1.3 million people die on the world’s roads each year. With 1.42 lakh road accidents last year, India accounts for 10 per cent of the total road deaths worldwide.