Is Talking Through Bluetooth Headset While Driving Legal?


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In india talking over phone while driving is illegal hence we must avoid it (Some of you may be already knowing that in USA, talking over phone is legal but sending or reading SMS is illegal). But nowadays due to the latest technologies and smart phones we can receive a call while driving without touching the phone. [evil] Below is the technique which I am using to receive a call while driving however I mostly avoid to make a call while driving or I take help of co passenger to dial from my mobile.

I am not sure whether talking through bluetooth headset while driving is legal or illegal? Let's have inputs from experts.

Caution:
By this thread, I am not giving encouragement to talking over phone while driving. It is always advisable to pull over the car at the safe place and talk over phone. But in some anavoidable circumstance where you can't pull over the car at safe place and you have to receive a call then you can use below technique for talking through bluetooth headset while driving. I am not sure about the legality of the technique so follow it on your responsibility.

Tools or gadgets required:
- Smart phone (android). I have done it on android only but it can be possible using windows or apple phone.
- "Auto Bluetooth" app installed on your android phone. It's free. [cheers] For windows or apple you need to find similar app for your mobile.
- Bluetooth headset (Nowadays you will get plenty of options available. Price strats from ~700. I am using Jabra bluetooth headset and I am pretty much satisfied with it. I have heard that Plantronics is also a good brand for bluetooth headset but I have not personally used it.)

Setup (one time activity):
First you need to pair your phone with the bluetooth headset. Guidelines for pairing the phone & bluetooth headset mostly comes with bluetooth headset or you can get it from the internet also (here). In most of the case you need to switch on the bluetooth on your phone and also switch on your bluetooth headset too. Then long press the button (press the button for more than 5 seconds) on bluetooth headset which will put bluetooth headset into pairing mode. Now you need to search nearby devices in your phone's bluetooth setting. You should find your bluetooth headset in the nearby devices in your phone. Select your bluetooth headset in the list of devices, it may ask for pairing password which may be different for each brands and it is written on the user manual of the bluetooth headset. Once you enter the password, your phone and bluetooth headset are now paired so it will automatically connect when bluetooth is on your phone and bluetooth headset is on. This is one time activity only. Activate the service in the "Auto Bluetooth" app. This app will automatically switch on the bluetooth on your phone when you make or receive call and switch off the bluetooth when you disconnect the call. Now what you need to do is keep bluetooth headset in the car at some place from where you can easily grab it while driving. In my case I keep it in driver's pocket of my car (there is small box below steering in honda city).

How to receive call?
Now whenever you receive a call while driving, you simply need to grab the bluetooth headset and switch it on and wear it over the ear (make sure you keep the bluetooth headset at the place from where you can grab it and switch it on without taking away your eyes from the road). It will automatically connects with your phone because your phone's bluetooth is already switched on by the "Auto Bluetooth" app. To receive a call you simply need to press the button on bluetooth headset that's it. You can press the same button to disconnect the call after receiving it. Once done with the call you can just simply switch the bluetooth headset off and put it back. You don't need to switch off the bluetooth on your phone because it is automatically done by "Auto Bluetooth" app. [clap]

How to make a call?
I suggest don't make a call while driving. Receiving a call is not in your control but making a call is. But if in case you have to make a call while driving then grab the bluetooth headset and switch it on and wear it over your ear. Now ask your co-passenger to dial a contact or number from your phone. "Auto Bluetooth" will automatically switch on the bluetooth upon making the call and your bluetooth headset will get connected automatically. Now you can talk through your bluetooth headset.

Note:
I am using the "Auto Bluetooth" app to automatically switch on/off the bluetooth on my phone to save the battery otherwise you have to keep bluetooth on always while driving which drains a lot of battery. You have to remember to switch on the bluetooth before start driving and switch it off at the end of the driving. Cotinuously wearing bluetooth headset is also not convinient (at least for me its not convenient) for long drives. Your ear starts aching after some time of wearing bluetooth headset. So I simply keep bluetooth headset in car and wear when needed. I am using Jabra bluetooth headset and it has amazing standby battery. When I fully charge it, it runs over 3 months without charging however I am not using it that frequently but I am just impressed by the standby battery power.

I want input from the experts whether the above technique is legal in India? Shall we use above technique to receive important calls while driving or avoid it?
 
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Re: How do you receive a call while driving? Is talking through bluetooth headset leg

Most of time aux is connected to my Pioneer and I just need to pick call I hear voices from my car speakers.
 
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Re: How do you receive a call while driving? Is talking through bluetooth headset leg

I think they concentrate on bigger violators and do not impose certain rules strictly. Explanation given below:
Many years back Bangalore Police (when they started taking action against those using mobile phones while driving) gave a press release saying "anything attached between Mobile Ph and ear was not allowed. Later they included bluetooth headset in the banned list. Practical trouble is law cannot prevent a driver from listening to music from an mp3/fm player. It is difficult to prove it in a Court of Law that a driver was indeed using his mobile Ph and not a mp3 player. So they started concentrating on those drivers using a hand to hold the Ph to his ear. What if a co-passenger holds the Ph to the driver's ear ?

My personal experiences:
A few times I missed turns and got into 1-way roads while using a hands-free (before the rule came). After I saw a Policeman at the beginning of a "No-Entry" road, I stopped using hands-free.
I never felt comfortable with BT headset sitting on the ears for long and don't use them anymore. I used to pull over to answer important calls earlier.
In Verna's BT enabled audio system, tele-con feels more natural as the way I am conversing with co-passengers. It is surprisingly NOT distracting. Yet, if the matter is important and forcing me to think deep (meaning I do not think deep while talking [lol]), I stop the Car. BT connected to Car Audio coupled with Driver's discretion seems to be ideal.
 
Thread Starter #4
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Re: How do you receive a call while driving? Is talking through bluetooth headset leg

Thanks Vijay & drive enthusiast for your response.

So they started concentrating on those drivers using a hand to hold the Ph to his ear. What if a co-passenger holds the Ph to the driver's ear ?
This one was good. [lol]

This is want I would like to know from people their personal experiences.
 

vijay

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I have heard different things but not sure about what the law that has been written down.
Usage of calls be it using the cellphone on hands while driving or with handsfree set or bluetooth headset is illegal.Mixed views i heard from police department itself taking the bluetooth connections from the OEM suppliers set in car stereo.
 
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By setting aside what the law says for the moment, what are other members opinion about making or taking calls from their cars while moving?

A) Would you strictly say 'Strictly no calls' policy or
B) Its okay only if the call duration is no more than 20 seconds or
C) Short call is okay but no texting or
D) I don't care, I will keep talking/texting as long as I want

Obviously option B through D is wrong but I feel short duration call is very much needed in this connected world.
 
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In Bangalore, talking on phone, with bluetooth, wired or non wired, is illegal as per police.
Ahhh. A member from BLR; a shoulder to cry on.

Every third person that slows me down (when the road is free, very clear, etc) on Bangalore roads is found to be using a Cell Phone. They are on foot, 2W, 3W (Autorick), 4W, pick-up, mini-truck, tempo, truck, JCB (no typo here) and what not. When they see a Cop they pretend not to know what a mobile Ph is. After drivng for 10m, the Ph comes back. Our bad times [frustration].
 

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