Talking on the phone while driving has been illegal in India for many years now. However, since the official rule does not state anything about Bluetooth or handsfree devices, most motorists use that while driving to talk on the phone. The cops have now decided to book anyone who talks on the phone using a hands-free device while driving.
This development comes from Kerala where the cops will not consider using a hands-free device or Bluetooth to talk on the phone while driving. The police have said that talking on the phone can get your license suspended and it stands true for talking on hands-free devices too.
If a cop catches you talking on the phone with or without a hands-free device, the cop can suspend your driving license apart from issuing a challan to you for the offence. Even though the cops can officially issue a challan and take action against you, it will be extremely difficult to implement in real life.
With almost all the modern cars getting Bluetooth infotainment systems as a standard feature, it has become very difficult to spot someone talking on the phone while driving. That is why the Motor Vehicle Department or MVD has also urged motorists to not use Bluetooth devices to talk on the phone while driving.
With the lockdown lifted, more people have started coming out of their homes and the number of accidents is on a rise in the state. That is why the cops will now implement the rule, which was notified way back in 2019.
MVD notified the rule in 2019
In 2019, MVD cited the Central Motor Vehicle Rule 21(25) of the MV Act 2019 for banning talking on Bluetooth devices. Even the Kerala High Court passed a judgement on the same.
High Court of Kerala passed a ruling saying that the police cannot register a case against a person for driving while talking on the phone. The HC said that there is no provision in the law that bans the use of mobile phones while driving.
However, the cops now use section 118(e) of the Kerala Police Act to book a person for driving while talking on the phone. Section 118(e) is used to charge the drivers for indulging in any activity that causes danger to the public or failure in public safety.
Talking on the phone can be distracting
Talking on the phones, regardless of the use of Bluetooth or handsfree devices is distracting. Talking on the phone while holding it with your hands does take your mind from the road and it does not allow you to think quickly if anything goes wrong on the road. Texting while driving can be even more dangerous.
Even if you’re not holding a phone and using a Bluetooth device, your mind can wander around and take your attention off the road. It can lead to accidents.