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Odisha: Regulate Mobile Use While At Wheels, Traffic Cops Sensitise Ola Drivers


14 January 2020

Snigdha Chandan Das


Bhubaneswar: Mobile app happens to the lifeline of cab aggregation business which is why cellular phones are indispensable for drivers of these vehicles such as Ola, Uber and others. However, using mobile phones while driving is strict no-no, given the fact penalties under Ammended MV Act are severe. Besides, diversion of attention while driving can lead to serious road mishaps.

The aforementioned issue was a major topic of discussion at a Traffic Awareness workshop organised by the Commissionerate of Police. Apart from Ola, Uber and Rapido, the drivers of 'Mo Bus' service attended the workshop, which aimed at sensitising them on best road safety practices.

Since, their business revolves around mobile apps and calls, it is impossible to ask them to stop using mobiles. However, it is always possible to control the usage while at wheels, Traffic DCP Sagarika Nath said. "There is a 30-second window which allows these drivers to attend to customer's calls. So, there is enough time for an Ola driver one can pull over, park the vehicle and attend the phone call," she said.

The attendees at the workshop also dittoed the statement of the traffic police officials. "We understand the concern and are very careful while taking calls. Most of our drivers carry handsfree devices while at work. Many of them use bluetooth connected to the music system, to attend to calls," an Ola driver said.

However, a majority of drivers agreed that it was difficult for them to strictly comply with mobile usage strictures as it has become a habit for them to take customers' calls. "Adopting safe driving practices is a part of our training and now onwards we will ensure that we park the vehicles and attend calls," the drivers added.

Sagarika Nath, DCP, Traffic, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack

Dinabandhu Nayak, OLA Auto Driver