Number of ‘using cellphone while driving’ cases double in last 4 years in Mumbai

Number of 'using cellphone while driving' cases double in last 4 years in Mumbai
Representational Image. Courtesy: DNA

The number of motorists caught for using cellphones while driving has more than doubled in the last four years, a report from the Mumbai traffic police has said.

According to the data, 8,311 people were caught for driving while using their phones in 2012. The number has doubled in the last four years, with 16,523 caught for the same violation in 2016.

Interestingly, despite the fine being increased from Rs 100 in 2012 to Rs 200 in 2016, there is a huge disparity in the total fine collected from offenders.

The collection stood at Rs 6,300 in 2012 and rose to a staggering Rs 10 lakh in 2016.

When asked about the disparity, a senior traffic official told Local Press Co, “We are checking the fine collection data and will soon revert with the reason for the mismatch.”

According to experts, talking on cell phones while driving is one of the most serious offences, but motorists seldom take that into account while flouting rules.

“It’s very common to spot people driving and using their phones at the same time. Although motorists feel that they are saving some precious time by multi-tasking, they fail to take into account the fact that they are risking the lives of everyone on the road, including their own,” said activist Subhash Gupta.

Even studies show that driving while talking on the phone results in a drop in concentration levels and reflexes.

The risk compounds when those riding two-wheelers commit the same offence by placing the phone in their helmet or between their head and shoulder.

Fortunately, the launch of the CCTV network in the city has given traffic officials a significant advantage when it comes to catching and fining offenders.

The department has already caught thousands of motorists for offenses like signal jumping, talking on cellphone and driving, riding without helmet/seatbelt etc since its launch two months back.

It has also launched an array of awareness campaigns, like the 28th Road Safety Week inaugurated by actor Amitabh Bachchan today, to curb the number of violations, accidents and deaths on the road.

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