BY DRAXON MALOYA
The advancement of technology is said to contribute towards a number of delinquencies in most developing countries including Malawi, with a number of accidents happening due to failure by the operator to put the gadgets to good use,
And,one such a gadget is a mobile phone which seem to have flooded the market with the primary objective of easing the communication challenges, but only to be put to bad usage by some users.
Some few months ago, in Blantyre a nurse on duty failed to assist a maternal patient who lost her life. When she was about to deliver a child while the nurse was busy chatting with her friends,who arefar and wide on Facebook and Whatsapp.
Despite having not yet opened the special account meant for road accidents originating from the use of mobile phones at various police stations in the country, it has been established that the use of mobile phone while driving is one of the contributing factors to some road accidents in the country.
The Station Public Relations Officer for Mzuzu City Police, Paul Tembo admitted that indeed road accidents caused by drivers who were busy on the road while using their mobile phone is indeed on the increase.
“We advise all motorists to avoid distraction while driving, such as use of cell phones and headsets. But honestly the vice is causing some unnecessary but avoidable accidents and lives lost in the process as well,” Tembo said.
Not only the motorists are the ones causing accidents on the roads in the country as some pedestrians are also reported to have landed in trouble for failure to do things right on various footpaths due to their usage of their handsets while walking.
At the moment new shops with various brands of mobile phones are still being opened across the country with scores of customers scrambling for the latest ones on the market, but there is still nothing or too little being done to avoid accidents caused by those using the mobile phones while working, mainly the ones on the road.
The corporate world is still adding value to mobile phone with the typical example of that which occurred in December last year, when the country’s integrated mobile network and ITC service provider TNM Plc. partnered one of the local commercial banks, FDH Bank to enable their mutual customers to access credit facilities to acquire 4G smartphones.
During Christmas parties for senior police officers in all the four regions of the country, their commissioners reported of an increase in number of minor and major road accidents of which most of them were reported to have emanated from drunk driving.
Meanwhile the Malawi Police Service has not yet established a unit in a number of its branches which shall specifically deal with accidents originating from the use of mobile phones.