Handphones have almost become an extension of people.
It's almost unusual to see human beings who are not stuck to their smartphones, even while driving or riding.
Whether it's to look for directions, play songs through apps like Spotify, make a call or even shoot off a text, many don't seem to think twice about reaching for their phones when they're behind the wheels.
Research has shown that using mobile phones, even hands-free, can be really dangerous.
It reduces concentration levels, slows down hazard reaction time, cause cars to weave when the drivers are distracted and more.
According to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), a person who uses a mobile phone while driving is four times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Another report indicates that using a phone can cause five to ten seconds of distraction, which translates to driving a distance of about 160 metres without full concentration on a highway.
All you need is for someone to break suddenly or something unexpected to cross your car to cause an accident.
Straight to court if you're caught
In Malaysia, using the phone while driving has been a compoundable offence for a long time.
Since this doesn't seem to work all that well, the authorities have decided to bring the perpetrators straight to court instead.
In a statement shared on its Facebook page, Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) reminded drivers that effective 6 July, those found using their phones will no longer be compounded, but will be sent straight to court.
This basically means more hassle, possibly higher fines and even jail time.
"The public knows that using handphones when riding or driving contributes to road accidents. However, many still ignore this rule," the statement said.
According to the post, under Rule 17A, LN166/59, those found guilty can be fined up to RM1,000 or be sent to jail for no longer than three months for the first offence.
If you're still degil, the guilty party can be fined up to RM2,000, and/or jailed for up to six months.
In case the possibility of killing yourself or others accidentally is not motivation enough to keep your phones away while driving, perhaps this new ruling will help!
Remember, using your phones while driving is no less dangerous than drunk driving. Always be alert.