The Karnataka Government has released a series of news paper ads recently highlightng the recent changes to the Motor Vehicle Act which makes use of Mobile Phones while driving an offense.

While there is an accepted need to ban two wheeler raiders holding the mobiles between their neck and shoulders and talking while driving, the rule also prohibits use of “Hands Free” sets and does not exempt four wheelers. According the Ad, even keeping the mobile in an “On” position would be an offense.

The law makers should realize that if the law is ridiculous, it will be ignored and it only ends up as a tool for the traffic police to harass the drivers since they can always stop a driver and demand a search of the car to find any mobile which is on.

Law makers should also realize that even a pilot of an airplane keeps talking on the radio while negotiating tough piloting tasks and the argument that the driver gets distracted merely by the ringing of a mobile is ridiculous. A mobile phone ring or talking with the headphone where both hands are free is no more distracting than listening to a music system or talking to your co passengers while driving.

To prevent further damage, the Government of Karnataka should immediately withdraw the driver unfriendly order and restrict it to two wheelers using mobile phones without hands free head sets while driving. With the kind of traffic we normally have in the city where travelling to office and back takes hours and increasing crime on the roads, banning mobile phones while on the move even when it does not pose a risk cannot be accepted as a progressive order. It is also impractical and cannot be properly implemented without a serious intrusion into the privacy of a driver.

Since the Governments normally fail to admit their foolish order and it necessary to challenge the order as impractical and unfair in a court of law through a public interest litigation.

I urge mobile companies to take up the issue to protect the “mobile on four wheeler drivers” from harassment.

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