HYDERABAD:The state transport department, apart from issuing vehicle registration numbers and driving licences, seems to be currently on a spree of suspending driving licences of convicted or medically-unfit drivers.
According to information, as many as 472 licences have been suspended across the state in the first six and a half months of the current financial year. That means two or three persons a day, on an average, are deemed unfit to take a vehicle onto the streets.
While reasons for this are many, the fact remains that so many drivers are debarred from holding a new licence and thus disqualified from getting behind the wheel.
These figures are much more than the figures of the previous two years. While 226 driving licences were suspended in 2014-15, as many as 315 had been cancelled in 2013-14.
Drivers are prohibited from steering their vehicles on accounts of recommendation of the police department or their respective parent department which deems them medically unfit to drive or on conviction.
“The licences of drivers involved in fatal and grievous accidents are being suspended. These are mostly cases referred by police,” said B.Venkateswarlu, joint transport commissioner (vigilance & legal).
“In case of a major accident, once an FIR is registered by the police, RTA officials inspect the vehicle to know the cause of the accident.
Once the accused is arrested and trial proceedings begin, his driving licence will be suspended. Even in case of persons belonging to other states, we have the authority to suspend their licences. We intimate the licensing authority of those states in such cases,” he added.
According to another official, the trend of suspension of driving licences had not been very vibrant till a couple of years ago. “It has only since the new state was formed that this enforcement has been intensified. While most of the affected drivers are those convicted of accidents, we also get a number of cases where government departments declare their drivers medically unfit as in the case of RTC,” explained the official.
Enforcement against drink driving, which has been intensified, is another important reason for a surge in the suspension of driving licences.
Additional commissioner of pilce (traffic), Hyderabad, Jitender said: “In most of the drunk driving cases, we recommend suspension of driving licence for six months. In other cases too, we are pursuing the same.”
However, he felt that suspension of driving licence should be the punishment for all sorts of repeat violations of traffic rules. “It is not happening at present but we are trying. A lot of work has to go into it to put things in place,” he added.