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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Do you use mobile in left or right ear and do you hear to music ?

A 21-year-old girl, captured news in Delhi Newspapers !  

Afar in US, the Dept of Transportation is making a rule prohibiting interstate truck drivers from using hand-held mobile phones at the wheel.  Drivers who violate the restriction will face a fine of up to US$2,750 for each offence and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offences.  Haulage firms that allow their drivers to use hand-held mobiles while driving face a maximum penalty of $11,000.  States will suspend a driver’s commercial driver’s licence after two serious violations.

They call this a leap towards safety as it is dangerous to let drivers get distracted trying to operate mobiles – putting the lives of others at stake.  Many Companies who use large truck companies have policies prohibiting drivers from such usage.   We also employ call taxies, tourist taxies and trucks – and without fail, the drivers are seen talking over the phone all the time when at wheels – ‘can we not simply tell the driver not to use the phone while driving’ – why are we not doing that ? 

Most likely you would have received e-mail urging to use the mobile in your left ear stating that usage at right would affect brain directly.  The mail citing some Medical Team and Scientist from the Radiation & Nuclear safety would urge to spread the message by forwarding the mail stating the human cells get exposed to phone radiation, would damage the blood brain barrier and like could cause cancer.    What do you do with such mails ? Forward ??

As you step on the road, you find more people talking – whether walking, crossing, driving or travelling – all are busy talking……. If few of them are not talking on cell phone – most likely they are wired – that is, they have the headphone, handsfree devices and either talking or hearing to music !  Music is sweet to ears – a calm music can soothen and make your day lively, it enlivens the mind….. all good things ?? 

There are variety of headphones, primarily small loud speakers (single or dual) plugged on to human ears and people behave mad – not thinking that they are in common place. In earlier days Sony’s walkman made big sales as it was handy and helped travellers hear to pleasant music – now you have ear plugs for ipods, mp3 players, and all type of cell phones.  Loud noise would harm one’s ear drum is common place but no body listens to such advice !  an ear plug into ear canal – what can be heard – might work at home but certainly not in a busy traffic road where you cannot even hear a vehicle horn blaring.  – these ear plugs are commonly bundled with personal music devices and once gotten free, you must use them is the rule !!!

At busy Vikas Marg Road at Delhi, a 21-year-old girl, Priya Jain died on 23/11/11 after being hit by a bike and then a bus while she was crossing.  Police informed that the tragedy struck her while crossing the road with earphones plugged in. She was on the way to work.  Newspapers quote Dr M C Misra, Chief, AIIMS Trauma Centre as stating  that around 50% of pedestrian deaths in road accidents occurred due to the use of hand-held devices while crossing roads.   "Listening to music or talking on the phone while crossing the road is dangerous. It diverts attention and causes a hearing deficit. The pedestrian is often not able to comprehend warning signals like honking or someone simply crying out," he said.  Accidents caused to pedestrians over plugging in headphones while walking had led US legislators to ban the use of such devices.  Dr J D Mukherjee, neurologist at Max Hospital, Saket claimed that people who are talking on the phone while walking or listening to music are unable to respond to an emergency situation.  Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Traffic Police said that prosecution is not the way out and "the number of pedestrians is huge. It's not practical to catch every violator and prosecute. In my view, awareness campaigns to promote judicious use of cellphones and other devices is needed. The traffic police is working on these lines."

The news about such accidents are grim reminders to other such users but are usually read and forgotten in the same breathe..  there are hazards faced by the pedestrians everywhere and the blame is not solely on the motor vehicle riders.   People do not use foot over bridges and dart across so casually unmindful of speeding vehicles and they are not in their senses, listening to jarred music.

Expert’s opine that the message of using phone on left and not right could at best be a prank and is only a hoax with no scientific backing.  Perhaps those forwarded did so with the interests of known persons in mind. 

The most important message is ‘when on Road – never use a mobile phone – whether on left or right – and using a handsfree or ear plug to listen to music is equally or more bad……. Say no to talking when on road – immaterial whether it is handsheld or handsfree – no matter whether you are walking, driving or doing anything else.  Human lives are always important

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

As if all this is not enough – here is something reported in DailyMail of UK.

we have seen people talking, drivers talking on mobile, sometimes trying to text also.  Quite fortunately, the habit of sending SMS – texting is not all that prevalent – it is more with school goers and teenagers…… but one could not even imagine this
- a school coach driver doing a Sudoku whilst at the wheel.  One of the students travelling in the vehicle, took the picture with his mobile and the authorities promptly sacked him !
He is responsible for getting dozens of pupils to school safely, he should have been concentrating on the road ahead. But, as the shocking photograph above reveals, this bus driver was in fact far too busy completing a Sudoku puzzle at the wheel  to give the job his full attention.
Don’t brush this aside stating that it happens in foreign countries – just check how your kids are travelling to school in autos, school vans and other modes arranged …….. it will be startling to say the least – most mothers have the habit of calling the driver of the school van to say that their kid is a ‘bit late’ asking the driver to wait…….. for sure, when the driver is answering your call, he is driving in the middle of road imperiling the lives of others…..

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