If you are planning to go out for a ride with your favourite playlist giving you company through headphones, beware, cops may just issue a fine. Various city traffic departments including Bangalore and Pune have decided to act against the two-wheeler riders who use headphone while riding. No, you do not have to be on the call to get a traffic fine, even listening to the music while riding will you get you a challan.
The Bangalore Traffic Police has said that a fine of Rs 1,000 will be imposed on the drivers of two-wheelers. This is according to a new notification issued by the Bangalore Traffic Police. Senior traffic police in charge of Bangalore Traffic Police has said to Bangalore Mirror,
“Earphones and headphones block the ears and the driver is likely to miss approach the vehicles. Both talking and listening to music while riding are violations. Listening to music in cars is permitted as the ears are not blocked.”
The Police will also closely monitor the CCTV footage of the traffic to track the violators who are using the earphones and will send them an e-challan. This can get quite difficult for the daily riders of scooters and motorcycles as they use the headphones to regularly take phone calls and listen to music while on the move. Surprisingly Bangalore is not the only city where it is happening.
The Pune Traffic Police Department has started conducting a similar exercise to nab the two-wheeler drivers with the headphones. The Pune Police are stopping such riders and also putting the headphones in their ears to check if they are listening to the music. However, the city traffic police yet to start issuing fines to the violators in Pune. The Pune Police has said that they will spread awareness about the use of mobile phones while driving and time to the road users before strictly enforcing the new law. It should be noted that after a meeting of Pune MLAs with Devendra Fadnavis, CM of Maharashtra, the Pune Traffic Police has allowed the riders to ride helmetless in the residential areas and city roads.
Kolkata Traffic Police started a similar drive last year against the riders who were using headphones. Many riders have issued a fine for using a headphone under the helmet. The Kolkata Police cited the dangerous driving law to issue the fines to such riders.
Recently, Kerala Police issued a notification that the car drivers using handsfree to take calls will be fined as it causes distraction. While the Bangalore Police say that the car drivers listening to the music will not be fined. Now it is not known how the cops will check the riders with Bluetooth headsets for such violations in the future.
A move in the right direction?
Well, listening to music through earphones makes the rider lose touch with the various noises in the surroundings, which could be from an approaching vehicle or horns from other vehicles. This loss in touch with surroundings can be a big problem while riding. Driving or riding on the Indian roads require a high level of concentration, especially because of the nature of most of the motorists who simply do not follow the lane rules and other important rules. Keeping the senses open, and sharp, are the only ways to know about the surroundings.
Many two-wheeler riders do not respond to the horns and other noises on the roads and since they do not get to hear the ambient noise, they simply do not care about the surroundings. This can lead to massive accidents. While it is a move in the right direction, the cops have to keep the car drivers in the same set of rules too.
The comment from the senior Bangalore Traffic Official, who said that it is alright for the car drivers to listen to the music while driving is something that will not go down well with the motorists. Even listening to music while driving a car can be distracting, maybe as distracting as talking on the phone. And there are many other things that can distract the motorists while driving or riding, including talking to the co-passengers and even eating or drinking water. This is something that the rule makers should think about before pinpointing a certain act and making it illegal.