The Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 have been updated recently. One such update has lifted the blanket ban use of mobile phones. The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has amended the rules to “make law enforcement easier and remove hassles faced by drivers and occupants in vehicles” by allowing usage of mobile phones for certain purposes.
One of the primary circumstances where mobile phone usage is allowed in the car to showcase any documents if and when questioned by law enforcement personnel. This also means that drivers need not always carry physical copies of all documents. If the required documents have been validated through electronic means, the driver can present these electronic documents. These duly verified documents on Digi Locker being accepted has a two-fold benefit, wherein it is good for both the drivers and the law enforcement personnel. However, the Ministry has also stated that these documents need to be verified and presented on Government portals like Digi Locker and/or m-parivahan, and need to be pre-verified.
A revoked or disqualified driving license details shall also be available on an online portal for law enforcement personnel to monitor. The Ministry has also made provisions to store and monitor all requisite data related to car documents digitally.
“Perhaps most significantly, the rules clarify that a hand-held device may be held by the driver only for navigation purposes. He/she will be responsible to ensure that holding on to such a device doesn't cause any disturbance to him, her or other commuters/drivers.”
These rules are an amendment to Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations 2017.