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India
17 May 2018

Kerala HC: Talking on phone while driving not against law

Kerala HC says calling while driving isn't crime

On Wednesday, the Kerala High Court ruled that talking on phone while driving wasn't an offense unless it could be established that the driver's act endangered lives.

Kochi resident MJ Santhosh approached the court after he was booked by police under Section 118 (E) of the Kerala Police Act and Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act as he was talking on the phone while driving.

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Kerala HC says calling while driving isn't crime
No provision bans drivers from talking on phone: HC

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No provision bans drivers from talking on phone: HC

The Kerala HC said, "There is no provision in the Police Act that bans people from talking over mobile phone while driving. Hence a person doing this can't be assumed as one causes danger to the public."

The bench added the assembly should pass an amendment to have such provisions in the Police Act.

The HC disposed of the case without a fine.

What the Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act says

The Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 says drivers are punishable for driving a motor vehicle in a manner or at a speed that endangers lives. It doesn't clarify the use of mobile phones.

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Expert says Motor Vehicles Act is expected to reduce accidents

A researcher in road safety and driver behavior at IIT-Delhi, N Madhusudhanan Nair said the Motor Vehicles Act is meant to prevent accidents.

He added the human brain is not equipped to perform two tasks at once.

"If I am walking swinging a sword on the road, would the authorities wait till I cut someone's head to apprehend me?" he argued.

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