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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Jail for talking on cell & driving

In a first-of-its-kind case anywhere in the country, a Mumbai magistrate’s court on Friday sentenced three persons to a day’s imprisonment for talking on their mobile phones while driving. They were also fined amounts ranging between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 and had their licenses suspended for six months.

When the Mumbai police started locking up people for drunken driving, we enthusiastically welcomed the development. Today, when they have started putting people in jail for talking on cellphones while driving, we have to point out that this is carrying things too far. To equate the two violations of traffic rules is simply absurd. Drunken driving has beyond doubt led to dozens of deaths in accidents. The same can hardly be said of using the mobile while driving. It is a tendency that should be discouraged, but the punishment must be proportionate to the offense — a hefty fine should do the job.

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