People should avoid making or receiving phone calls while riding or driving, says S. SUNDAR

Using mobile phones while riding vehicles is the most common violation of traffic rules on the city roads. Despite police action to curb violators, the menace is on the increase. For, technology helps them to escape from the watchful eyes of traffic police personnel.

No need for the two-wheeler riders to spare one of their hands or bend their heads close to their shoulders to hold the handsets while riding. Handsfree tools such as headsets and wireless headsets supported by blue-tooth technology help people to talk on the mobile phones without much effort.

"Unless and until you are also riding parallel along with those violators and closely watch them, it is difficult to notice that they are using phones," an inspector says.

It is not that such rides are not unsafe. These people are equally dangerous on road. "We are not only looking at the riders losing physical control of the vehicle while sparing a hand for using the phones. It is true that people do lose their concentration even while using the latest gadgets," the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), V.H. Mohamed Haneefa, said.

Besides the din on the road, the subjects discussed make people to concentrate more on their conversation. Naturally they lose their attention on the road. "Though they have both their hands on the handle bar, they lose control over the vehicles," the Inspector adds.

People fail to watch the traffic signal made by the other drivers/ riders and forget to make the right signal before taking a right or left turn. All these end up in accidents, putting the lives of fellow road-users in danger.

Though all these problems apply good even for those driving four-wheelers, they mostly go unpunished because they are not visible. Sun control films on windscreen and side glasses hide them.

Considering the gravity of the violation, the Motor Vehicles Act imposes the maximum fine of Rs. 1,000, he adds.

Instead people should avoid phone calls while riding/driving. "If it is an important call, they could do so after stopping their vehicles without

hindering the traffic movement," Mr. Haneefa said.