What exactly is illegal mobile phone use while driving? Traffic police explain

It is a well-known fact that using cell-phone while driving a car or riding a bike is illegal in our country. Anyone found talking on a phone while in the driver’s seat can be fined and the same applies for bike riders also. Recently, the Bangalore Traffic Police has said that a fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed on the drivers of two-wheelers using earphones while riding. According to a report by Metrosaga, Traffic police says that mobile phones must be switched off while driving but since it is not possible for motorists to switch off the phone, they should at least use holders. Due to the confusing traffic rules of our country, we have been often asked about what all is exactly illegal regarding the usage of mobile phones while driving and here we are today to answer that.

Phone Usage

The image above clearly answers all your queries regarding the usage of mobile phones when on the road. As seen here, if the cops catch you for using your phone while driving/riding, you’ll have to shell out Rs. 1,000. Moreover, if you are caught doing the same again, a higher fine of Rs. 2,000 will be implied. This has been done to curb the incessant use of mobile phones by people while behind the wheel or riding a bike. Among the most common confusion among people regarding the usage of mobile phones is that if it is illegal to use the phone for navigation purposes.

Well, the usage of mobile phones for navigation is not illegal as per our law as long as it is placed on a mobile holder. However, if the rider/driver is found using his hands to hold the phone for operation while driving, that is counted as an offence. Similarly, using earphones while riding a bike is again an offence. For the same, police in several Indian cities are nowadays catching people who have earphones plugged in their ears while riding and if found on a call or listening to music, a fine is imposed.  Also, the usage of a Bluetooth device while driving also comes under offence irrespective of whether the driver is on call or not. Talking on mobile even when the traffic light is red is an offence too.

Pune 2

Another similar issue often raised by people is that whether it is allowed to attend a mobile call while driving if the call is put on the phone’s speaker. According to the law, doing so is an offence even if your co-passenger picks up the call for you and puts in on speaker mode. This is because of the fact that doing so, in a way, is a sort of distraction for you and other road sharers. The focus of these new laws is to keep the driver’s attention fully on the road while behind the wheel. Using your phone to play media in your car/bike by pairing it to the audio system is allowed but only until it does not become a disturbance for other road users. Simply put, you can play songs on your car’s audio system by pairing your phone to it but the volume levels should be under permissible limits.

While these new rules might seem to be a bit harsh according to many, they are actually a step forward in creating a country that has a fewer number of road fatalities. India scores quite high when it comes to per year accident numbers and strict moves like these can help curb the problem to quite an extent. But of course, no initiative is complete without the help from the country’s citizens and therefore we at CarToq urge you to follow all traffic rules and regulations in order to be safe and keep others safe as well.