There is a fine for using a mobile phone in any form, whether it be calling, texting, or other use while driving. Under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989, and State Motor Vehicle Rules, a penalty is imposed on the violator under Section 177 and Section 184. Section 177 states that if caught using a mobile phone while driving, for the first offence, a fine of Rs 100 will be levied against the violator, while a repeated offence will be treated with a fine of Rs 300.
Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act states that anyone caught driving in a manner which is unsafe for others, including the use of mobile phone, will be issued with a penalty, punishable with a fine of at least Rs 1000, or an imprisonment of six months for the first offence. A repeated offence within a period of three years, in the same manner, shall be punishable with a fine of Rs 2000, or an imprisonment of up to two years in prison, or both.
Even these strict guidelines and penalties have not prevented the public from using mobile phones while driving. There was an accident involving a bus in the Dhumakot area in Pauri Gharwal which caused the death of 48 people.
Following this, the Nainital High Court issued an order that any person caught using their mobile phones while driving or riding will have to pay a fine of Rs 5000. The order also directed the Traffic Police to confiscate the mobile phones of the offenders for 24 hours after issuing them a valid receipt.
Also included in the order was a possibility of the cancellation of the driving license of the offenders if it was observed that their disregard for the safety put not only themselves but also other commuters under risk. The ruling has been implied in the state of Uttarakhand and may see pan-India implementation if it is successful in the state.