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Old 2nd July 2019, 14:24   #31
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
How are Kerala Police going to figure out if you're using your car's Bluetooth connectivity!? Handheld phones or Bluetooth earphones can at least be seen.
Check call logs to see if cellphone was used,probably search for available bluetooth devices to figure out if the bluetooth is active
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Old 2nd July 2019, 14:32   #32
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

This is ridiculous, if the same time, energy and money is spent on initiatives which benefit users and motorists will be welcome with open arms! Spend on cops soft skills, improve systems and processes, have educational initiatives in schools where you can catch them young and ensuring discipline is inculcated from an early age. Oh, so many things to do...
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Old 2nd July 2019, 14:45   #33
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

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In that regard, check the workload rating for Speech to Text systems! They are even more dangerous.
Thanks for the study. Could you please elaborate how you have calculated the workload rating for the tasks here?
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Old 2nd July 2019, 15:04   #34
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

Its not like work is not cut out for the cops, that they have to add more options to make policing even more stricter. How about ensuring that they penalize all the rash drivers. Anyone who has driven in Kerala roads would vouch for a large number of rashly driven buses. How difficult it is to fine and tame these guys. Let the cops first sort out all the existing road issues which are a much bigger cause of worry than wasting their time writing up a guy who is speaking on his headset.

Kerala cops seem to be enacting laws that will enrich the coffers easily than find ways to curb / tame real & burning traffic issues.

Last edited by SR-71 : 2nd July 2019 at 15:05.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 16:59   #35
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

While talking on hands free devices may not be a distraction, screening incoming calls to decide if it should be received, or making calls is definitely a distraction. And from what I have seen, most people do not stop to do these. They take their eyes off the road, look at the phone screen (or the integrated system in the car) and perform operations. And during this time, I have seen quite a few cars slow down causing inconvenience to the others on the road.


So from that perspective, this is a good move. Unless we have technologies which make the complete call making and talking process seamless without having to take the eyes off the road, this law is required.


On a related note, I have now noticed two wheeler users plug in ear plugs into both their ears, oblivious to people honking behind them. The other day, I almost ran over one such guy. So, I am all for introducing a law for not using ear plugs in both ears while riding as well.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 17:06   #36
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

Chandigarh cops have been penalising drivers (yours truly on one occasion included) for quite a few months now.

The first time I got caught I explained to the traffic cop that I had no idea this was illegal. I mean after all bluetooth was there in my car so that both my hands are on the steering wheel and I can still talk on the phone. His response was that the speedo was marked till 260 doesn't mean I should go till 260. I found no reason to have an argument with him and to point out the fallacy in his argument.
So I asked him how could he tell the difference between me talking on the phone and singing along to a song on the radio. He had no answer to that. Anyway I had admitted I was talking on the phone to him. I saw no reason in hiding that. I was not aware of any law against the bluetooth usage at that time. Maybe it was my lucky day or something but he gave me a warning and let me go.

The second time I was caught at the same spot by the same cop and he promptly issued me a challan. My bad. Should have realised that they were serious about this.

Anyway, I have stopped using the phone while I am driving if I can help it. Even when I do take a call, I don't talk around intersections. Almost all intersections in Chandigarh have cops stationed at them.

Personally, I think it is a dumb rule. If their entire logic rests on phone calls being distractive, I can name several things on the road that can be equally distractive. Hell, my favourite song on the radio is distracting to me.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 18:22   #37
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

Same here in Mumbai. Was recently stopped at an intersection for talking on handsfree. Didn't argue with him on it - a) pretty much admitted upfront that I was on phone. b) he showed a recent circular (~25/may) which expressly spoke of use of handsfree devices.

As many have pointed above, seems impractical to try and contain this through challans when infact it is a manufacturer given feature widely used by all! And will certainly become a slippery-slope in enforcing zero distraction laws!
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Old 2nd July 2019, 19:24   #38
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

Brilliant move!

Not sure what is wrong with the current crop of motorcyclists but everyone seems to be sporting an intercom, using the same on interstates abroad might not be a bad idea but I cannot fathom the same being used on Indian roads safely.

Some of the riders I know very well even listen to music while riding their motorcycles as if the act of riding a motorcycle in India is not challenging enough.

As for driving, I can't drive straight when talking to my own mother who'd be sitting right next to me lest not be distracted by a phone call.

Next ting IMHO is for them to bring out posters that explicitly mentions that the use of WhatsApp while driving/riding is an offence as well, cause irrespective of literacy benchmarks my people find it hard to comprehend this bit.

Even today while riding in TVM traffic I spotted a lady using WA while driving.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 2nd July 2019 at 19:31.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 20:31   #39
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

Throughout the world, bluetooth/handsfree calling is allowed , hence any argument about "driver distraction" is toothless. What if the driver "thinks" about the fight he just had with his wife/boss - how can traffic police ensure this doesn't happen ? Just nonsense.
This is just a move to squeeze more money through fines, since KL govt coffers are beyond dry.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 22:49   #40
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

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Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
I was caught few years back. I was signaled to stop at a junction by a cop. Upon asking the reason he said that they received a wireless message from a cop at the previous junction saying they saw me talking (I was driving alone so they assumed that I was using bluetooth). I politely said that I wasn't talking but singing to a song on the radio and showed my phone's call list. He laughed and let me off.

So they do track everything that's happening.
I am finding the advantage of having 2 phones all the time in this case or using WhatsApp for calling while in Kerala. Hope they do not check VoIP calling list. But on a different note I think the intent to prevent here should be drivers being unmindful or distracted from their job while driving. While mobile can be one of the causes even pedestrians crossing roads irratically distracting the traffic or even that bright glow sign on the road side everything can cause distraction potentially. What else will be banned.

Last edited by haisaikat : 2nd July 2019 at 22:55.
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Old 2nd July 2019, 23:56   #41
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

I am not sure of the driving situation in Kerala but I am sure there is a lot of other stupidity that goes along the roads which are far more dangerous like driving in the opposite side, wrong parking, bad roads,... they should focus more on these.
If this is really unlawful then they should stop it at the manufacturer level. Steering controls are unlawful, similarly using Maps would be unlawful whether, on phone or car dash, Ola Uber will be soon out of business. There is no point allowing the manufacturer to deliver it and then hold the consumer liable, that is unethical.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 00:11   #42
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

Based on my experience, there are two types of conversations one usually has one phone, first is where you are just talking without thinking much, like the wife calling you and asking you what would have for dinner or telling your kid to do his studies and sleep early. This kind does not warrant 'distraction' of any sort.

The second type which I feel is more distracting (and I faced this a lot) is when you are asked questions over the phone and you really need to think hard: e.g. When driving to office, a colleague calls you regarding some issue they are facing, and you have to 'think' about the code, visualize what might be going wrong, or, sometimes a junior guy asking how to draft a mail reply to the client while you are away. Basically, any calls which will cause you to 'zone out'. I remember failing to notice a signal turning red while I was talking and realized how dangerous it can be at high speeds. I stopped taking client calls and politely informed them that I will be driving for the next so-and-so minutes and won't be taking any calls. I also noticed that while driving, talking with co-passengers doesn't really affect attention, but talking on phone definitely does. Can't explain how and why.

This ban on hands-free calling might be trying to address above cases. Anyway, I don't like fiddling with my driving these days as I need to be super-attentive while driving for my own safety, but I feel the fine should not be hefty, just about enough to be cautious and making people take urgent calls only if required.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 00:19   #43
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

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Originally Posted by naveen.raju View Post
I was caught few years back. I was signaled to stop at a junction by a cop. Upon asking the reason he said that they received a wireless message from a cop at the previous junction saying they saw me talking (I was driving alone so they assumed that I was using bluetooth). I politely said that I wasn't talking but singing to a song on the radio and showed my phone's call list. He laughed and let me off.

So they do track everything that's happening.
This is Stalinist surveillance.

I think this law stupid. I understand that a driver using his hands to operate a phone is dangerous. But with wireless systems, why not use them? Such a regressive move.

I'm sure people will find a work around. Having multiple phones, having a phone on their wife's name etc.,
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Old 3rd July 2019, 01:26   #44
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

This is stupid !! In most of the develope countries, who are very strict with driving laws, allow hands free calling. Unlike us they do a lot of reasearch before implementing laws.

Most of us while driving are not using 100% of out attention on it. We do listen to music, we see sign boards, advertisement boards, talk to people in the car, enjoy scenery all with keeping an eye on the road. From my experience talking over hands free won’t distract you more than talking to someone in the back seat.

I spend 2 hours behind the wheels every day and due to nature of my work, i have to attend calls from my work. In the congested city traffic it is not practical to stop and attend the call, you will be creating big traffic jam behind you.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 06:56   #45
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Default Re: Kerala Police declares talking on phones using Bluetooth & handsfree as a punishable offence

At one level, the cops are right. There is data to show that having an intense conversation on the phone (or arguing with a co passenger) distracts drivers, and that a distracted driver can be as dangerous as a drunk one. However, I am amazed at how our authorities see this as the biggest priority - when they fail to ensure even reasonable compliance with traffic signals or driving the right way down a road or lane discipline. Further, I suspect that having a casual conversation on the phone or listening to a conference call is no more dangerous than having a casual conversation with a passenger.

In countries with an obsession with road safety, the difficulty in distinguishing between casual and intense conversations, coupled with the ease of proving that a conversation on the phone took place could lead to complete bans on speaking on phones while driving. But India has far more basic stuff that we need to enforce, before moving on to esoteric stuff such as bans on handsfree kits in cars. (BTW, I would distinguish between a handsfree speaker and an in ear headphone - an in ear headphone makes hearing anything else difficult and is far more dangerous than a handsfree speaker).
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