High vigil has meant rise in traffic rule violations

High vigil has meant rise in traffic rule violations

Insurance firms dont honour claims of accidents during phone talk

High vigil has meant rise in traffic rule violations

While the increased density of traffic in the City pushes Bangalore’s infrastructure to its limit, the risks involved for traffic violators have also skyrocketed.

In Bangalore alone, 2,07,490 cases were booked against motorists riding/driving while using mobile phones in 2012 — a sharp rise from 2011, when only 1,32,367 people were penalised.

Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Bangalore City, M A Saleem, said: “Nowadays, we not only have CCTV cameras on the roads, but also have equipped our personnel with hand-held cameras. Culprits are not only caught red-handed, but it has also increased the conviction rate.”

But motorists are not impressed.

“How can the police preach not to drive with phones when their own personnel speak on the walkie-talkie while driving in the name of an emergency? Can’t ordinary persons have personal emergencies?” asked Rohith M S,  a motorist.

Loss of insurance

The increased number of traffic violations has concerned the insurance sector, as it not only indicates increased police crackdown but also increased recklessness by motorists on the road.
“Usually, people only think that accidents and overspeeding are a crime,” said an analyst for an insurance firm.

A threat to others

“What they don't realise is by using mobile phone or accessories while driving, they pose a potential threat not only to themselves but also to the lives of others.

“On several occasions, we have witnessed cases in which pedestrians have either been paralysed for life or mercilessly run over and killed because a motorist was distracted by his phone.”

She said such behaviour, already illegal under the Motor Vehicles Act, has led insurance companies to revaluate their policies.

“What it means is that if a person has caused an accident while driving and using a phone, insurance companies can refuse to honour vehicle and medical claims — even if all instalments of premiums have been paid promptly,” she said.

Warning on two instances

Under the Motor Vehicles Act, police are obligated to let off motorists with a warning on the first two instances of misconduct. Following that, they are required to impose a fine. Fines can be imposed even if a person is using the phone through the ear-piece. Habitual offenders also risk having their licences revoked or their vehicle impounded.

Men, the offenders

Police said that than 75 per cent of the victims involved in accidents while talking on the mobile phone are aged between 19 to 30. A majority of them are men.

According to Saleem, the police recommended that the Regional Transport Authority revoked 4,587 driving licences last year.

“More than 50 per cent of the cases involved people using mobile phone or a head-set while driving. Altogether, we collected about Rs 4 crore from such violations,” he said.
According to the police, even pedestrians using mobile phones are capable of endangering their lives as a result of not paying attention on the road.

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