Local January 23, 2012 | 11:52 am

On skyrocketing accidents, official eyes stricter ban on BB while driving

SANTO DOMINGO.- Since 2010 to date around 4,629 persons have died from traffic accidents and 11,784 injured in Dominican Republic, where 70 percent of victims are men between 15 and 49 years of age.

Just in 2010 there were 2,373 of those deaths in car accidents and a total 5,982 injuries, according to research by the French Government and the Higher Education, Science and Technology Ministry, said ex congressman Fausto Araujo, who authored Law 143-01, which prohibits the use of cellphones while driving.

Araujo says its violation has increased through the BB chat.

The current Industrial Competitiveness Development Center (PROINDUSTRIA) technical director revealed that the authorities and experts blame the high number of traffic accidents on the failure of the law, with stresses control on speed, alcohol and drugs consumption and distractions like cell phone use while driving. "More and more traffic accidents occur in the country because of some drivers using, talking or chatting on a cell phone, mobile on highways, avenues, streets and highways of the nation."

Araújo added that a recent study in the United States found that "it’s much more dangerous and risky driving a vehicle while speaking or chatting on a cell or mobile than in an evident state of drunkenness."

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