MORE than 28,000 Almeria motorists have been fined for using mobiles while driving since the points system for driving licences was introduced in Spain in the summer of 2006.
It is the third most common driving violation, behind speeding and failure to use a seatbelt or child retention system.
The statistics also indicate that drivers caught and sanctioned with the loss of three licence points and a €200 fine for mobile use has crept up in Almeria in recent years, having been steadily dropping
More than 2,000 drivers have been penalized this year, up from 1,990 in 2018 and 1,720 in 2017. However this compares with 2,329 in 2016 and 3.200 in 2015.
Provincial Directorate General of Traffic chief Jose Maria Mendez reported that 70 per cent of deaths on Almeria’s ordinary highways occur when vehicles come off the road due to excessive speed, distractions, or both at the same time, and that using a mobile is one of the main reasons for a driver being distracted.
The Directorate General of Traffic warns that making or receiving a call, sending a WhatsApp, going onto social media or taking a look at an email while behind the wheel means drivers take their eyes off the wheel and significantly increase the risk of having an accident.