Mobile can be used only for navigation while driving, will this result in more driver harassment?

Written by Nizam Shaikh

In a Gazette notification, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 that come into effect from 1st October 2020. Under rule 165. Use of handheld device. The notification states that a handheld communications device such as a mobile phone being used while driving shall only be used for route navigation, but in such a method that it does not disrupt the attention of the motorist while driving. This new rule will also be implemented on 1st October 2020. 

The authorities have decided to allow the use of mobile phones for navigation purposes, but the rule specifically says that the use of the handheld device must not disturb the concentration of the driver, and not reduce the operators capacity or control over the vehicle. This could be interpreted as the use of a handheld device by using a mounting device and not by physically holding on to the phone while driving. It is well-known that mobile phones are the main cause of driver distraction and a major cause of accidents. Will this new rule result in more driver harassment? 

In the same Gazette notification, Under 139 and 139A CMVR, the Driver or conductor of the motor vehicle can produce the documents of the vehicle in physical or electronic form, as per the availability. The documents can also be downloaded from the portal, on-demand by any police officer in uniform or any other officer, authorised by the State Government. The documents include registration certificate of the vehicle, insurance, Pollution Under Check (PUC) certificates, driving licence, fitness certificate and permits.

Furthermore, if any or all documents are not in possession, in any form, the driver can produce the duly attested documents in person or registered post to the officer who demanded the documents, within fifteen days from the date of demand.