Using Bluetooth while driving: Kerala High Court seeks explanation from the government

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought an explanation from the state government regarding its decision to make using Bluetooth for communication while driving an offence.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Jiyas Jamal, a Kalamassery resident. The court, however, refused to overturn the state government’s decision and instead issued an interim order.

The motor vehicle department and police decided to take action against using Bluetooth for communication while driving based on section 184-C of the Motor Vehicles Act. However, the petitioner claims that this rule does not apply to hands-free devices.

Section 184-C allows police to fine offenders, and repeat offences may result in the loss of a driver’s licence. However, the rule only prohibits the use of ‘hand-held’ devices, not ‘hands-free’ devices. The state government’s move to penalise people who use Bluetooth while driving lacks legal support “Adv. Firoz Deshikan, who argued on behalf of the petitioner, said

He urged the government to enact new legislation prohibiting the use of Bluetooth devices while driving.

“Drivers’ attention is also diverted by the stereo in their vehicles. There is no problem registering a vehicle that has Bluetooth connectivity. It becomes a crime, however, when a common man uses it after purchasing a vehicle.

This must also be brought to the court’s attention,” he added.

The case will be heard by the High Court on August 9.

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