Shimla: Concerned over increasing accidents in the sate, the Himachal Pradesh government has hiked the penalty on use of mobile phones while driving to Rs 5,000 from Rs 100. Further, if a person is caught third time for the offense, it would lead to imprisonment for one year in addition to the fine.
Transport minister Mohinder Singh said that use of mobiles while driving had been a cause of concern as a number of fatal bus accident had happened due to negligence of the drivers and therefore the Motor Vehicle Act had been amended accordingly discourage drivers from using mobiles while driving.
Meanwhile, bodies of nine persons who had perished into the Beas river near Hanogi in Mandi were recovered today. Relatives of the victims alleged that the local administration had not made any arrangements to inform people about the road being unsuitable for driving due to falling rock debris. While poor condition of roads is the major reason for mishaps, perhaps this is the first time authorities have been directly accused of negligence.