PETALING JAYA: Ask any Malaysian if they have ever used their mobile phones while driving and chances are, most of them will admit to being guilty as charged.
A lawyer in her 50s, who wished to be known only as Eli, said she was typing a message at a red light.
A police officer pulled up alongside, told her that it was an offence to do so and issued her a summons, even though she argued that her car was stationary.
“The case went to court and I fought it myself. The judge found me guilty as it was illegal to use the phone, even when the traffic light is red,” Eli said, adding that she had to pay the RM300 compound recently.
Meanwhile, an audit assistant who declined to be named said he rear-ended another car last month as he did not realise that the traffic lights had turned red and all other cars had stopped.
He was playing games on his handphone after work as the traffic was slow-moving and he thought he could split his attention between his phone and the road.
“It was really boring being stuck in the jam so I whipped out my phone to play a game. I really should have focused on driving.
“Luckily, the cost to fix the dents and scratches was not too high as the impact wasn’t great,” he said, adding that he will not repeat it again.
A sales manager, who wanted to be known only as Marlene, said she learnt a hard lesson after crashing into a motorcyclist while looking at the Waze navigation application on her phone.
“I was so focused on the on-screen map that I made an abrupt turn without checking if there were any vehicles near my car.
“I noticed too late that a motorcyclist was beside me.
“Our vehicles collided and he was thrown off his bike. I offered to send him to the hospital,” she related.
Marlene, 29, said the motorcyclist, who escaped with light injuries, forgave her and left the scene.
“It was a scary experience. Since then, I have never made any turns without checking my surroundings first,” she added.