Legalizing the act of Talking on the phone while driving
According to section 184 of the Motor vehicle act 2019
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in September, said that mobile phones can be used while driving solely for navigation, without hindering the concentration of the driver while driving.
Hence according to law and the directions given by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, talking on the phone while driving was a punishable offence. The good news is that talking in phone while driving will not be a punishable offence anymore as the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways has announced that they will soon decriminalise talking on the phone while driving.
Kerala Congress MP Hibi Eden had asked Nitin Gadkari, whether talking on the mobile with hands free device while driving is a punishable offence under section 84 of Motor Vehicle Act 2019. While answering this question Union minister of Road Transport and Highways stated that “talking on phone while driving will soon be legal in India”.
Nitin Gadkari stated “if the driver uses a hand free device and is on the phone, it Is not considered a criminal offense. In such a situation, the traffic police cannot impose a fine, if does, then one can challenge the court.” This scheme was introduced to reduce road accidents as it is convenient for the drivers to speak over phone without distracting from driving.
While declaring this Nitin Gadkari also mentioned some conditions to avail the benefit of this rule such as:
According to the reports if traffic police stops the vehicle and put fine even after knowing that the driver was speaking through hand free devices then the driver can challenge the decision in court. To defend his case in the court of law he should make sure that the phone was in his pocket and he was talking through hand free device.
Kerala High Court also has declared that “can’t book drivers for talking in mobile while driving” as there is no provision in the law to book a person for talking on the mobile phone and driving.
To conclude already in states like Kerala they have set up a precedent as to not to book drivers for Talking over phone while driving as there are no provisions under law to punish them. The decision taken by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to legalise talking over phone while driving is apt for the present generation as it will be convenient for the drivers to speak without deviating their concentration from driving.