U-TURN: Driving with the aid of Google map, not a crime — FRSC

Contrary to a report that surfaced on Wednesday which quoted its sector commander for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Ayuba Gora, as saying driving with the aid of Google map is outlawed, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said that using Google map while driving is not an offence in a series of tweets released on Thursday to debunk the claim.

The FRSC in a statement signed by its public education officer, Bisi Kazeem, said the sector officer was quoted ‘out of context’, adding that driving with the aid of Google map is not prohibited, but deploying the app while a vehicle is in motion could cause an accident.

According to the release, many road traffic accidents are caused by the use of mobile phones while driving.

“Corps Commander, Ayuba Gora, was quoted out of context on the use of Google map app while driving, during the 2019 ‘Ember Months’ flag-off held in Lugbe, FCT on Wednesday.

“To state the obvious, we have always enlightened the public on the position of the law on the use of phone while driving which the Sector Commander tried to emphasize during the flag off.

“The statement he made during the flag off buttresses the position of the Corps, which is that any driver who intends to deploy the use of Google map while driving must have it set on the phone before embarking on the journey, not while the vehicle is already in motion as this could be dangerous to the driver and other road users, and can lead to road traffic crash.

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“We say this because, available records have shown that use of phone for whatever purpose; be it text, voice calls, chats, browsing, setting Google map to find location etc, while driving could be distractive and can easily lead to loss of concentration. This has led to many road traffic crashes with attendant loss of lives and properties.

“On the strength of this, the Federal Road Safety Corps wishes to reiterate its position on the use of phone while driving as a dangerous and hazardous road traffic behaviour which has led to unwanted and avoidable road crashes.

“We, therefore, call on all motorists who intend to deploy the use of Google map on their phone especially during the festive season when traffic density is high, to activate such before setting the vehicle in motion so as to ensure 100 per cent concentration on the wheels,” the FRSC stated in the release.

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