06 February, 2006

A habit that may hit Hyderabadis hard



DANGEROUS TREND: Yakking on mobile while driving.

K. Srinivas Reddy

HYDERABAD: Hyderabadis sure are unable to get over this syndrome - Driving WhileYakking (DWY).

Motorists in the twin cities seem to willingly give themselves up to this irresistible urge to yak while driving. But the law enforcers are not amused anymore. Police have begun cracking the whip after the Andhra Pradesh High Court specifically pointed out the growing tendency to flout the law against use of mobile phones while driving.

And instances of motorists arguing with policemen have been on the rise ever since police launched a drive against the DWY syndrome three months ago. As many as 13,000 motorists have been flagged down and handed over penalties of Rs 200 each. But that was during the period of leniency -- the drive was limited to certain traffic junctions only.

Personnel of the traffic police wing are now bracing themselves for a vigorous enforcement and also for some real hot arguments from the motorists. "It can be distracting and it's dangerous not only for the mobile user, but also other road users. We will certainly check this," asserts Additional Commissioner A.K. Khan.

Why would people chat on mobile phones while driving? The question defies any answer as everyone agrees that talking while driving is certainly distracting. "Yes. It's dangerous. Police are doing the right thing," concurred Y. Preetam, a businessman from Narayanguda.

Hands-free earphones


Intriguingly, he was answering the query from The Hindu on his mobile while driving.

Would the police crack down on use of hands-free earphones or those using the Bluetooth? Mr. Khan says the enforcement is against those taking or making calls while driving, whether they use hands-free sets or not. But considering the shortage of manpower to catch the motorists in the act, police could only crack down on those holding mobile phones to their ears.

"They should be pragmatic and encourage 'hands-free' conversations," says A. Srikanth, a dentist. "If distraction is the issue, what about DVD players in cars? Will it take few more years before the police wake up?" questions A. Kalyan Reddy from Padmaraonagar. A software analyst Sanjay Punjari argues: "I don't see any reason why hands-free mobile conversations should not be allowed. Otherwise, the police move to ban talking on cell phones is a right decision."

So what do you think? Write to us on downtownhyd@thehindu.co.in

(Published on 2nd Feb 2006)

yak or yack = to talk continuously about things that are not very serious or important

6 comments:

The Eternally Confused... said...

yak = kaburrlu... right?
but i agree with the gentleman who remarked that listening to songs etc is also a major distraction... and given the amazing traffic sense that we, hyderabadis are reputed to have anyways... mobile phone is just but another feather in the cap...

త్రివిక్రమ్ Trivikram said...

"yak = kaburlu... right? "

Exactly!

"listening to songs etc is also a major distraction..."

Definitely, but not as serious as yakking, i suppose. Talking is a two-way communication and we are more likely to get distracted than when we are passively listening to songs.

"the amazing traffic sense that we, hyderabadis are reputed to have ..."

well said. :)

The Eternally Confused... said...

have been at the recieving end of the hyd traffic so believe me i know.. in fact following the traffic rules is the surest way to get hit in areas like panjagutta, ameerper, koti etc...
to quote an incident, once i was driving through the ladki ka pul area and on seeing the red signal, did what a sensible driver in any other part of world would do... pull over... THUD!!! someone hit the bumper of my car.. i got out and lo and behold, an army jeep.... i just went and cursed him, "Kya Bhaiyya, dikhtha nahi signal nahi hai..."
his reply, "Signal laal hai to kaun bola rukne ke liye"
i was appalled... i managed to say "Aap army walen hi aaise sochenge, to log civilians se aur kya expect karr sakte hai?"
he drove off ashamed but the incident left a bad taste in the mouth not to mention a hole in my pocket...

త్రివిక్రమ్ Trivikram said...

"Signal laal hai to kaun bola rukne ke liye"

This single sentence speaks volumes about the kind of civic sense we - civilians and defence personnel alike - have.

And if you THINK it is "rukne ke liye", you have to pay for your ignorance and to learn your lesson: Here, rules are made, only to be broken and you have to swim against the tide to follow the rules. That is why traffic jams are a regular feature in our great cities.

cbrao said...

Traffic sense prevails only as long as there is a traffic police, at the junction. Rest of the times, it depends on our luck, in Hyderabad.

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