Drivers using mobiles in Italy to lose their licences

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Rome, July 19 (IANS/AKI) Drivers caught using cellphones or tablet devices at the wheel in Italy will lose their licence for up to three months, Italy’s Deputy Infrastructure and Transport Minister Riccardo Nencini announced on Wednesday.

The sanctions will be included in an amendment to a road safety bill currently working its way through parliament, Nencini wrote on Facebook.

“Three major changes to the highway code are forthcoming: obligatory alarms on child car-seats to prevent infants being left in vehicles; the immediate withdrawal of their licence for anyone using smartphones or tablets while driving; and the obligation for motorists to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from cyclists when overtaking,” he said.

“Let’s get this law approved quickly,” he went on, calling the crackdown “a truly important day for parliament”.

Italy leads Europe in car accidents caused by smartphone use and three out of four car accidents are caused by “distractions” at the wheel and most by phoning or texting while driving, a road safety panel report said Tuesday.

–IANS/AKI

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