MUMBAI: Drivers beware. If you’re behind the wheel and talking on the phone, you may be headed straight to jail.
For the first time in Mumbai, three persons were sent to jail for talking on their cell phones while driving. A Bandra court on Friday sentenced the offenders to one day simple imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs1,000.
Traffic officials said two were businessmen driving four-wheelers, while the third, a marketing executive, was riding a two-wheeler. The car drivers were caught in Bandra, while the other ran into trouble in Vakola.
All three have been booked for rash and negligent driving and their driving licences have been suspended for six months.
“Motorists must understand that by talking on the mobile phone while driving, they lose concentration,” said joint commissioner of police (traffic) Vijay Kamble. “This poses a danger to other motorists as well as pedestrians.”
Earlier, the police were lenient with motorists using cell phones while driving. They were let off after paying a fine of Rs100. But the message wasn’t driven home.
“The verdict will send out a strong message to motorists who frequently flout the law. There is a need to bring discipline on the roads,” said deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) Harish Baijal.
Traffic police refused to divulge the names of the offenders saying they weren’t hardened criminals but serious offenders nevertheless.
In their campaign to instill discipline on the roads, the traffic police has succeeded in jailing for a day at least 10 motorists for rash and negligent driving, while 1,103 Mumbaikars have been sent to jail for drinking and driving.