The lion's share of Croatian drivers (91%) use cellular phones while driving, and in addition every second pedestrian is on the phone while crossing the street, which affects the traffic safety and which has made the parliamentary home affairs committee propose designating 21 October as the national day of traffic free of cellular phones.
The findings of a 2017 survey on traffic habits, which were used for the preparation of the committee-sponsored proposal tabled to the parliament, also show that one in three cyclists also operate their phone while riding a bicycle.
The particularly alarming finding is that two fifths (40%) of drivers and traffic participants seem disinclined to change the habit of using their phones in traffic, regardless of fines. This disinclination stems from their ignorance of how the use of mobile telephones can distract drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and thus affect traffic safety.
The use of cellular phones in traffic is a growing global problem and is regarded to be the fourth most common cause of traffic fatality.
The initiative to designate 21 October as Croatia's national day of cell phone-free traffic was launched by the Croatian association of safety managers (HUMS) and was approved by the Interior Ministry which perceives the proposal as an additional step in efforts to raise awareness of dangers of the use of cell phones in traffic.
The proposal will be on the parliament's agenda this autumn.
Currently, using the phone while driving is fined 1,000 kuna (€ 135) in Croatia.