It’s no joke! No kissing or taking selfies while at the wheel
SMOOCHING motorists beware – authorities have launched a smackdown on romance on the road and will not be taking any lip if they catch you kissing while driving.
And do not even think about snapping the act on your cellphone. Selfies – in case you have not realised it – are just as bad.
In what many were convinced was a belated April Fool’s gag, the Eastern Cape Department of Transport has announced that a road safety campaign will specifically target kissers and selfie-takers who get behind the wheel.
But it is all true. Such transgressions are deemed among the most serious in the pecking order of road offences.
After a study of social media networks, the department decided that it was time to ensure motorists understood it was not safe to kiss while driving.
And just in case nobody had figured it out yet, the second leg of the campaign points out it is also not safe to take a selfie while behind the wheel.
The campaign features advertisements showing a picture of a strict-looking Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana, and warnings in two languages.
Department spokesman Ncedo Kumbaca said the campaign would run until the end of the year.
“This period leading to the festive season is notorious for road fatalities and the department saw it fit to launch the campaign now in October, extending the road safety awareness campaign until December,” he said.
Kumbaca said it had been decided to remind road users of the kissing and selfie-taking problem after an extensive study of social media networks.
“There is no empirical evidence that kissing will cause road fatalities within the province. However, we have been monitoring the lifestyles of people and their behaviour when they are driving,” he said.
“Social networks serve as a great resource for the department to look at the trends and behavioural patterns of people.
“We want those who are doing it to stop, and those who are not, to refrain from starting,” Kumbaca said.
He also warned motorists about taking selfies while driving.
“The selfies phenomenon has engulfed the citizens of this province, particularly those with higher incomes.
“If you monitor Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you will soon realise that many people take selfies while driving to keep their friends or followers updated on their whereabouts and what is happening.
“This … increases the risk of road fatalities. There is an urgent need to engage Eastern Cape road users with the purpose of reducing the avoidable accidents that are mainly the result of negligence,” he said.