Mobile And Driving: Law
I believe We can’t forget a traffic accident of Apr’18, in which 13 school children were killed and eight others were injured when a train crashed into a van at an unmanned railway crossing in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district. I personally call this case as mass murder and I am sure you will also agree once you check the reason of the accident.
The driver allegedly had earphones plugged in and ignored warnings by the ‘gate mitra’ at the crossing or overheard him as he was either listening the music or was busy on talking to someone over phone and was in hurry to reach at school.
But think about the families of those 13 children and many such victims who suffer the loss due to excessive use of mobile phones by an errant driver while driving including earphones, remote Bluetooth devices (not inbuilt Bluetooth of car).
Now, I am little positive and sure that such instances will decrease from 1st Sep’19 onwards due to hefty penalty provisions in MVA, 2019 (amendment).
Remember one thing, this will not change until we will not change ourself. Enforcement is needed to tackle this but we need to be respectful about our own life, so please follow rules and help in saving 1.5 lac human life on roads every year in India.
What Rule Says:
Rules 21(6)(25) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 when read with the directions of the Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court on the matter, make it amply clear that the said act can be charged under both s.177 (for violation of rule 193a) as well as s.184 (for dangerous driving) of MVA’88.
- Rule 21(6) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 states that if the ‘driver, while driving a transport vehicle, engages himself in activity which is likely to disturb his concentration he would be guilty of the commission of an act that ‘shall constitute nuisance or danger to the public’.
- Rule 21(25) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 states that the act of ‘using mobile phone while driving a vehicle shall constitute nuisance or danger to the public.
Note: Rules 21(6)(25) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 have been laid down with reference to s.19 (1)(f) MVA’88 that defines the circumstances under which the licensing authority may invoke the powers to disqualify the holder of a driving license from holding the driving license or to revoke such license. Yet, the said rule provides a valuable guideline for determining as to what kind of driving would constitute dangerous driving under s.184 MVA’88.
It may be considered reasonable, therefore, to treat the act of using a mobile phone while driving (an activity that may safely be assumed to cause a disturbance to the driver’s concentration) as an instance of dangerous driving chargeable under section 184 MVA’88.
- The matter is further clarified by the clear direction of the Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court in the cwp no.7639/95- Nimit Kumar vs Chandigarh Administration and others & cwp no.10591 of 1999 that reads as follows: ‘no person while driving a vehicle of any kind including two-wheelers shall use cellular phone…’ any person found violating this direction, shall be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with Law under the contempt of Courts act as well as for violation of traffic regulations.
From 1st Sep’19 onwards the minimum penalty for using the mobile devices while driving is Rs 5000 (Rs 1000-5000 and license disqualification up-to 3 months) and other penalty can also be clubbed with this such as dangerous driving. So be careful if you can’t be respectful.