The Slovenia Times

Don't Phone and Drive


The campaign was launched by eleven state institutions, road safety NGO Varna pot, mobile operator Simobil, telco Telekom Slovenije, the Slovenian Automobile Association (AMZS) and municipal traffic wardens' services.

According to a survey conducted among 800 Slovenian drivers who drive at least once per week, 25.3% use mobile phones for calling, texting and checking e-mail. A half of these mostly use mobile phones to receive short calls not connected to their work.

Almost 40% of the drivers who use phones while driving never stop to make their calls, while 22.8% do so. Only a third of drivers use hands-free phone sets, the survey suggests.

Marinko moreover said that surveys had suggested that driving while using mobile is similar to driving with 0.8 grams of alcohol per kilogramme of blood.

"It is a habit which has spread among drivers and which in most cases cannot be prevented by the police," she said.

Ivan Kapun, the head of the traffic department with the Police Administration, said that the police handed out 13,000 fines to drivers using phone while driving in 2009 and more than 17,000 last year.

Slovenian legislation forbids the use of mobile phones or any devices that lessen the driver's hearing, vision or their ability to handle the vehicle, setting the fine for such practices at EUR 120. The law on the other hand allows the use of hands-free sets.

Brane Legan of the Vransko safe driving centre moreover said that a test involving 100 drivers had shown that reaction times doubled when the drivers were using their phones.


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