TN bans mobiles for drivers on duty

The new norm applies to STC buses

TN bans mobiles for drivers on duty

Drivers of all state transport corporations in Tamil Nadu “should henceforth not carry mobile phones” while on duty as a cardinal safety measure, State Transport Secretary Atulya Mishra declared in an official order released on Sunday.

The ban comes into force in the wake of the government’s attention being drawn to a number of complaints that drivers being on a continuous “talk mode” with their handsets on while on duty was one of the causes for the rising road accidents in the state, Mishra explained in a statement here.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) alone in greater Chennai with a fleet strength of over 3,260 buses, carries about 5.86 million passengers a day. All the nine state transport undertakings put together in Tamil Nadu, including one for long-distance travel with a total fleet strength of 20,104 buses (as of March-end 2009), move some 16.5 million people daily within the state and to outside destinations such as Tirupati, Bangalore, Kochi, Guruvayoor and Thiruvanantha- puram.

Depot-level managers of the respective state transport corporations should make suitable arrangements to ensure that drivers did not have mobiles on their persons when they report for work, Mishra said and urged the cooperation of all drivers to enforce the new safety norm.

The managing directors of all state transport corporations have been asked to take stringent action against any driver violating the rule. But the government order is silent on whether conductors of state-owned buses could carry mobiles.

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