BMTC to staff: Switch off mobiles while driving

BENGALURU: “Switch off your while driving. can endanger your life,” announced V Deenadayalu through a loudspeaker at Shantinagar bus terminus.

In the wake of complaints against bus drivers speaking on their phone while on duty, has started an awareness campaign at major bus terminals in the city.

As part of the campaign, Deenadayalu, a senior driver-cum-guide in BMTC’s Bengaluru Darshini, a sightseeing service, makes announcements through a loudspeaker, urging bus drivers not to use cellphones while driving. “I’m conducting this campaign in Majestic and Shantinagar from morning to evening. There’s growing tendency among drivers to use their phone while at the wheel, particularly when they are stuck in traffic,” said Deenadayalu, 55.

BMTC has decided to expand the campaign to more depots, hoping accidents due to non-attentive drivers will come down. Use of earphones and cellphones while driving is against the law and violators are fined only Rs 100, which is hardly a deterrent for them, officials said.

Last year, a study conducted by Save Life Foundation India, an NGO, found 83% of the respondents in Bengaluru making calls or answering them while driving, and majority of these are work related. The study also found 44% using social media while driving.

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