Two horrific accidents in a few days led SAI KUNG BUZZ to get on with something we’ve been thinking about for sometime: do an unscientific survey of the number of drivers distracted by mobile phones in moving cars on our busy streets. The two accidents we refer to are the one on Clearwater Bay Rd where a young woman was flung across a car’s windscreen after being hit on a pedestrian crossing and yesterday’s where an elderly man who may have come out of the Mona Fong clinic was struck by a young woman driver showing P-plates. (NOTE: In both cases we know of no evidence that mobile-phone distraction had anything to do with the accidents, but they stimulated to us to get on with our survey.)
A BUZZ team member stood outside Bacco watching the drivers passing by on Man Nin St, counting them and noting the number playing mobile phone as they drove. This is approximately where the elderly man was hit yesterday. Our team member observed 100 drivers going by between 10 and 11am. Three culprits using mobile phones while driving moving cars were spotted. One was actually tapping on his mobile phone as he passed the busy area where pedestrians coming out of the alleyway by Bacco were crossing the road while people coming from Yi Chun St were walking in the opposite direction. Two drove by holding the steering wheel with one hand and a mobile phone in the other. A further two motorists may have been holding mobiles in one hand but it was not clear.
In general aviation it is said one thing going wrong usually won’t cause an accident, but two things going awry can. That’s all you need for tragedy: A driver distracted by a mobile phone and a naughty child running out, an unthinking woman pushing a pram out from behind parked cars, an elderly man demented and trying to find his way home…
Given the addiction of people to their mobiles these days, the unscientific survey result was better than expected. Just three real culprits — all male.