BENGALURU: In the first-of-its-kind survey about road safety in India, Save Life Foundation India, a non profit organisation that works to promote and advocate road safety in collaboration with Vodafone, found that 83% of the respondents in Bengaluru make calls or answer them while driving, most of these calls being work-related.
Around 44% respondents use social media while driving, higher than any other city under this study.
The report is titled ‘Distracted Driving in India: A Study on Mobile Phone Usage, Pattern and behaviour'. According to the World Health Organization India is the top contributor to global road crash mortality and morbidity figures.
"Distracted driving is taken seriously around the globe. In India however, there's no conversation around it," said Saji Cherian from Save Life Foundation, "It affects the driver cognitively and visually and we need to understand that the mind cannot multitask."
The survey also states that about 70% of Bengalureans own a smartphone, which is why the execution of road safety needs to be stronger here, he added. "Most people here own a smartphone but interestingly, though they were aware of the risks, they admitted to its usage during driving."
There is no clear indication of cell phone usage in the Motor Vehicles Act.
The problem lies in the legislature, enforcement and an understanding of risks, he said.
"Though a bill has been proposed in the Act and passed in the Lok Sabha, it is yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha." However, the bill would only be completely successful only when it is executed well, he added.
Additional Commisioner of Traffic, Bengaluru, Mr Hitendra, said, "The use of phones while driving distracts drivers and is dangerous. There is an amendment addressing the issue in progress but it’s too soon to comment on it."...