The High Court in Kerala has issued its ruling that there is no particular law at present under the State/National Motor Vehicles Act under which motorists can be booked for using cell phones while they are driving. Motorists have previously been booked under Section 118 (E) of the Kerala Police Act for this offence which covers acts which are dangerous for public safety. The High Court has ruled that individuals cannot be charged under this particular act unless danger is caused to public safety.
The High Court has also stated that it may not always be possible to assume/infer danger arising from mobile phone usage while driving. Under the current legal framework offenders using mobile phones while driving can be booked by the police as per the Motor Vehicles Act (1988) Section 184 or the Indian Penal Code Section 279 which have dangerous driving provisions. A special law for this particular offence is expected soon. The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, according to many experts, needs urgent amendments.
There are no specific guidelines about using cell phones while driving in the Act and it is basically the discretion of the State Police. The new act should also take into account new features like Bluetooth systems which enable wireless calls.