On April 22, a three-year-old boy in northwest Delhi was run over by an SUV being driven by his uncle. A CCTV footage of the incident showed the car hitting the boy even as the distracted driver was on his mobile phone. The child suffered serious injuries and is now battling for life at AIIMS. The accused was arrested for rash driving and negligence, but was later released on bail.
The shocking incident puts a spotlight on the alarming cases of traffic violations caused by usage of mobile phones while driving. According to a survey by NGO Save Life Foundation, 1/3rd of the calls picked up while driving lead to accidents in Delhi. The study also added that 10 percent of the total road accidents are caused by drivers using mobile phones. About 67 per cent of car users and 80 per cent motorcyclists in the age group 18-35 use mobile phones while driving, reports The Times of India.
A 2017 survey conducted by the foundation revealed that almost 50 percent of Delhi’s drivers illegally use mobile phones while driving out of which 20 percent ended up crashing their vehicles. As per the statistics shared by the ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 3,172 of about 1,47,000 people, who’ve died in road accidents in 2017 lost their lives due to use of mobile phones while driving across India.
People caught driving with mobiles phones are fined Rs 100 even though the amended penalty as per the Motor Vehicle Act is Rs 5,000. The usage of hands-free bluetooth devices is equally dangerous, and is liable for prosecution. But the police officials say that catching defaulters red-handed is the most challenging task for prosecution.