Mumbai: Rickshaw drivers on call while driving? Here's what administration is doing about the issue

It is a usual sight to see mobile phones being used while riding an auto rickshaw by the driver.

Shashank RaoUpdated: Sunday, June 19, 2022, 11:06 PM IST
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Mumbai: Rickshaw drivers on call while driving? Here's what administration is doing about the issue | FPJ

Talking on mobile phones while driving is an offence under the law. However, nowadays, it’s a common sight to see motorists, especially auto rickshaw drivers who are almost always connected with their cell phones on the steering handle and earphones plugged in them. Their rickshaw unions and even passengers are tired of this habit of auto drivers, but it seems the government authorities of Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) and Traffic Police are doing much about it.

It is a usual sight to see mobile phones being used while riding an auto rickshaw by the driver. He not only uses it to make calls while riding but also as a medium for watching movies, videos, songs and other entertainment purposes. The auto unions claim that they too have observed this dangerous behaviour of drivers though they blame the aggregator auto and cab operators for this.

“We have come across several cases of auto drivers using mobile phones or watching something on it while driving. We have also tried to educate them against this and have made complaints to the RTOs on the same. Primarily this behaviour has started intensifying since taking rides on aggregator app-based operators,” said KK Tiwari, a union leader from BJP Auto and Taxi Cell.

Talking on a mobile phone while driving is a serious offence as it can lead to accidents as well. Under the relevant act, a fine of Rs 500 and above are also eligible depending on the different laws broken by the driver. “There have been instances when we have to repeat to the driver the direction while taking a left or right turn as he is busy watching the video with earphones plugged inside his ears and driving. This is very dangerous,” said Kamlesh Verma, a resident of Andheri.

The union members stated that the problem here is the lapse in concentration as a video is playing in the background while driving their three-wheeler which can lead to accidents. The RTO officials claim that they keep taking drives on different offences.

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