A blanket ban on using mobile phones in vehicles is a thing of the past as the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has recently issued notifications regarding various amendments in Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989. In order to make law enforcement easier and remove hassles faced by drivers and occupants in vehicles, the use of phones for certain set purposed has been permitted.
(Also read: Maintenance of vehicle documents, e-challans through IT portal from October 1)
One of the most notable reasons to make use of a phone while inside a car is to show documents if and when stopped by a law enforcement personnel. As such, documents which have been validated through electronic means can be presented instead of physical documents. While such documents, duly verified, on DigiLocker have already been deemed acceptable, the most-recent move will allow for both convenience for drivers as well as better enforcement for personnel. Of course, these documents have to be verified and presented only on government portals like Digi Locker and/or m-parivahan, and need to be pre-verified. If not, physical documents will have to be presented for inspection.
In case a driving license has been revoked or disqualified, the details will be available on a portal for law enforcement personnel to check. All similar data related to car documents will also be stored and monitored electronically.
Perhaps most significantly, the rules clarify that a hand-held device may be held by the driver only for navigation purposes. He or she will be responsible to ensure that holding on to such a device does not cause any disturbance to him, her or other commuters/drivers.
These rules come as part of amendments to Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations 2017.
(With inputs from Live Mint)