The bane of being bluetooth-enabled

Tricky technology

The bane of being bluetooth-enabled

The rising numbers of cars on Delhi roads have added to traffic and to the time that people take in commuting. So young professionals in Delhi have evolved the practice of connecting their phones to their cars, the minute they get into their car to drive. This connectivity technology was developed by manufacturers to enable drivers to keep a tab on their calls while driving but the same feature is now encouraging young professionals to acquire latest car models which have this inbuilt feature to make phone calls when behind the wheel.

Devised to enable the MP3 to play songs in the phone memory, the Bluetooth enabled cars have now raised the question of safety since a lot of people prefer making calls and speaking while driving. The wireless headsets and hands-free car systems have also been in question as they too distract a driver. But now it is technology that doesn’t require you to be wearing a headset. But isn’t talking over phone while driving still illegal? 

And how are the cops supposed to know whether a driver is making a call or listening to music? A recent advertisement by a German automobile company with tagline ‘Do your homework on your own or God will punish you’ shows the usage of this feature in a positive light. 

“Driving to office and back is the only time that I get to make personal calls,” shares Anshul Arora, a marketing professional who admits switching to a bluetooth enabled car recently. “Now I don’t have to park my car and waste five minutes each time my phone rings, only to realise that it was a property or bank call and I can also catch up with my friends over the phone.” But isn’t it illegal to talk over phone while driving?

“It is certainly,” agrees Harsh Sinha, a sales professional. “But if it is Bluetooth, I can talk without holding my phone or plugging a headset.” He has recently bought an i20 sports model and is appreciative of the technology, “Its a good feature that keeps me connected and is hassle free. Since the screen of MP3 flashes the name of the caller, I can choose which calls to take or ignore.”  Which is a matter of concern as ultimately, as it is a distraction.

Ravi Sharma, marketing manager with Hyundai Motor India Limited says, “Bluetooth is a comfort feature but we tell our customers not to take/make calls while driving. The safety concern has been addressed as we have designed the console of our cars in the direction facing the driver. Bluetooth is a global feature now and available in almost every hi-end car today.”

So who will take the responsibility of ensuring that law is followed? Is it the manufacturers or the consumers because a cop cannot prove whether you were talking while driving or simply listening to music!

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