Government's whimsical decision on using mobile phones while driving 

Print me reports that the Government has decided to take stringent action against those who are found driving while talking on mobile phones. This is one more instance of whimsical ways in which decisions are made by governments, not just by the one in Karnataka. Did the Government have any statistics on the number of accidents caused by drivers while talking on mobile phones? No. They do not go by such reasoning. All it needs is for some bureaucrat or politician to take a fancy to any such idea and it soon becomes law. Next comes the harassment of innocent people stopped for making a phone call. Traffic police would have one more way of making money. Bureaucrats too would have their share of the pie. The news reports say that over a thousand cameras would be purchased and installed for catching people talking on mobiles while driving.

Read one such report in the 'Indian Express'. 

What is the basis for the view that talking on mobile phones while driving causes accidents. Perhaps, research in the west is one source of info. Is there not a difference between driving there and here? In the west one drives at over 60 km speed at most places. In Bangalore driving from HAL to MG Road, one cannot achieve a speed of more than 20 km for large part of the way. Secondly, if talking on phone reduces concentration causing accidents, what about listening to music or talking to co-passengers? Are these not as much, if not more distracting? Does the law apply to using hands-free mobile phone devices too?

What about call-taxi drivers who talk constantly on the radio? Perhaps, the call-taxi companies would pay a monthly "fee" to the mandarins in power to keep the traffic police at bay from interfering with their business.

We, the aam aadmi, would never know. One thing we could be certain of is that the law would not apply to our VIPs. And there are plenty of this variety - politicians, (MLAs, MPs, IAS & IPS officers, etc, etc). 


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