Last June, Pere Navarro, the General Director of Traffic, was very clear talking about the percentage of traffic accidents and deaths on Spanish roads: “This has a name, mobile phone and WhatsApp.” According to Navarro, “in road safety, speed is what kills” and is the “common element” in many traffic accidents, being the second cause of mortality.
What is the first cause? Distractions, attributed to elements such as the improper use of the mobile and in addition to applications such as WhatsApp.
The use of the mobile as a cause of traffic accident
After 14 years with the points card established in Spain since 2006, Navarro and his team have revised the system to update it to the current era in which the smartphone has become indispensable for everything. In 2006 there was no WhatsApp or social networks, so according to Navarro the incidence of mobile phone use in traffic accidents is so high that right now it is a “matter of maximum alarm”, and increase the penalties by removing more card points for the same penalty is a reflection of this.
For this reason, the Council of Ministers approved this week at the proposal of the Ministry of the Interior a package of legal reforms that, as a whole, substantially modify the legislation on traffic and circulation.
The objective of these legislative changes is to generate a new model of road safety aligned with the policy of the European Union and the recommendations of the World Health Organization to reduce, during the next decade, the number of deaths and serious injuries by 50% in traffic accidents.
6 points less on the license for using WhatsApp at the wheel
The first change has been to increase “from 3 to 6 the points to be deducted for driving while holding mobile phone devices”. In this way, and taking into account that every driver has 12 points on their license, the DGT wants the recklessness of using WhatsApp or other apps while driving to cost the driver those 6 license points, practically half.
Is there a way to avoid it? Yes, not using the mobile, or using it in Hands-free mode, without thus having to release your hands from the wheel and therefore not lose so much attention to what is happening on the road. Using the hands-free is not penalized, although it must always be borne in mind that 100% of your attention must be on driving.