Under Central Motor Vehicles Rule 21 (25) the transport department in association with the city traffic police is planning to strictly enforce the ‘using mobile phone while driving a vehicle shall constitute nuisance or danger to the public.’

After a preliminary awareness campaign, the Chennai transport department will start suspending licenses of those who are found talking on their mobile phones while driving. This also applies to those riding motorcycles.

T. Prabhakar Rao, to State transport commissioner, instructed its RTOs start taking action against those breaking the rules after the public has been sensitised. Two enforcement squads, in the north and south zone, comprising an RTO and motor vehicle inspectors will be used for the crackdown.

“For evidence, officers have been asked to use their mobile phones to take photographs of those speaking on their mobile phones while driving. The officers will also book those who listen to music on headphones while driving. Any form of attention diversion can cause fatal accidents,” he said.

“Several accidents take place due to the negligence of drivers. In June last year, private van carrying school students toppled because the driver was speaking on his mobile phone. Similar accidents happening continuously across the State increasing all over India and it is high time this is brought under control. In other countries, anyone who speaks on the mobile phone while driving faces stringent legal action. Texting or talking on the mobile phone while driving diverts the driver’s attention and can potentially lead to accidents,” a senior traffic police officer said.

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