Passengers travelling onboard Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses will no longer be allowed to play music, watch movies or news in speaker mode. In case the passenger continues to use the speaker mode after a warning, the driver and conductor of the bus can ask them to deboard the vehicle. The decision was announced in a circular issued by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation on Thursday, November 11.
According to the notification, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had been filed in the Karnataka High Court against causing ‘sound pollution’ on RTC buses. “It has come to our notice that people are playing music, poems, news and cinema loudly (inside the buses). This is causing sound pollution and disturbances to other passengers in the buses and a PIL has been registered in the High Court to restrict sound pollution,” the circular said. Hearing the petition, the court had issued orders to the RTC to restrict passengers from playing music or movies loudly on their phones.
The RTC notification further states that the staff on the bus should appropriately educate the passengers that using the phone on speaker mode would cause disturbance to other passengers and request them to stop doing so.
Any passenger who uses speaker mode, according to the notification, will be in violation of the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 section 94 (1)[V] which states that if “a person using stage carriage sings or plays upon any musical instrument or operates a transistor radio, the driver or the conductor may require such person to alight from the vehicle.”
If the passenger does not heed to the request of the staff, and continues to be in violation of the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules, they will be asked to deboard the bus by either the driver or the conductor on spot and the bus will be stopped until they deboard. Additionally, the ticket fare that was paid by the passenger will not be returned to them.