WHATSAPP messaging while behind the wheel will soon see drivers lose six points from their licences.
The new measures by Spain’s Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT) will ramp up penalties against ‘distractions’, which include WhatsApping, speaking with your phone in one hand, touching your car’s navigator, opening a drink or lighting a cigarette.
The new rules come as distractions have superseded speeding and drunk-driving as the leading cause of traffic accidents in Spain.
The changes are planned to soon become part of Spain’s road safety laws, according to a statement by Fernando Grande-Marlaska, acting Minister of the Interior.
Twelve helicopters have been deployed this summer to catch out drivers on their mobile phones.
They accompany 11 drones, 216 high-definition cameras and camouflaged vehicles from the Traffic Group of the Guardia Civil – all dedicated to catch out distracted drivers.
The Guardia Civil has deployed 300 more agents this summer, adding to their 9,100 existing traffic agents, to carry out a predicted 900,000 breath tests over July and August.