Mobile Phones

CELL-PHONES & DRIVING
WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?
RULE 193A CHANDIGARH MOTOR VEHICLE RULES 1999
Use of cell-phones
No driver of a motor-vehicle shall use or answer the cell phone while driving the vehicle.

Rules 21(6)(25) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 when read with the directions of the Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court on the matter, make it amply clear that the said act can be charged under both s.177 (for violation of rule 193a) as well as s.184 (for dangerous driving) of MVA'88.

  • Rule 21(6) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 states that if the 'driver, while driving a transport vehicle, engages himself in activity which is likely to disturb his concentration he would be guilty of the commission of an act that 'shall constitute nuisance or danger to the public'.
  • Rule 21(25) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 states that the act of 'using mobile phone while driving a vehicle' shall constitute nuisance or danger to the public.

Note: Rules 21(6)(25) of the central motor vehicles rules 1989 have been laid down with reference to s.19 (1)(f) MVA'88 that defines the circumstances under which the licensing authority may invoke the powers to disqualify the holder of a driving licence from holding the driving licence or to revoke such licence. Yet, the said rule provides a valuable guideline for determining as to what kind of driving would constitute dangerous driving under s.184 MVA'88. It may be considered reasonable, therefore, to treat the act of using a mobile phone while driving (an activity that may safely be assumed to cause a disturbance to the driver's concentration) as an instance of dangerous driving chargeable under section 184 MVA'88.

The matter is further clarified by the clear direction of the Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court in the cwp no.7639/95- Nimit Kumar vs Chandigarh Administration and others & cwp no.10591 of 1999 that reads as follows: 'no person while driving a vehicle of any kind including two-wheelers shall use cellular phone…' any person found violating this direction, shall be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with Law under the contempt of Courts act as well as for violation of traffic regulations.

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