mid-day editorial: Keep your eyes on the road, not your phone

Dec 28, 2017, 06:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

Despite a sustained campaign against cell phone usage while driving, the amount of fines collected has gone up to Rs 30 lakh in the last nine months

Despite a sustained campaign against cell phone usage while driving, the amount of fines collected has gone up to Rs 30 lakh in the last nine months. This is up from Rs 3.78 lakh collected in 2015, marking a seven-fold increase in violations in just three years, as discovered in a Right To Information (RTI) query filed by this newspaper.

The traffic police have invested a lot of manpower and money on social media campaigns and public hoardings to caution motorists against speaking on the phone while driving, a report in this paper said. It is time motorists too make a choice between the steering wheel and the phone.

Though it may seem innocuous, talking on the cell while driving is extremely dangerous. There is every possibility that the driver's attention is diverted because of the conversation on the phone, thus compromising his safety and those of others in his vehicle and on the road.

We often see cabbies talking on the phone while ferrying passengers, with the excuse that it is necessary and inevitable for them to take calls since they drive all day long. All drivers need to either cut calls; if it is important, they can pull over at a spot and then return the call.

Do not be misled into a false sense of security that you have good control of the car, you are an experienced driver and can do both, talk and drive. Such misplaced confidence can be deadly, as our accident figures show. Show maturity and a respect for lives. Keep your hands and eyes off the phone and on the road, so we can all reach our destinations safely, with no compromise or distractions.

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