ABDUL WAHAB KHAN | NT
Despite the directions from the Supreme Court-appointed committee to strictly implement traffic laws and suspend driving licences of violators for a period of three months, the transport department has been lenient towards such traffic rule violators. It has suspended only 20 per cent of the licences which had been recommended for suspension.
The transport department in its last two quarterly reports covering the period from October 2016 to March 2017 and that have been submitted to the SC says that 2954 licences had been recommended to the competent authority for suspension for a minimum period of three months. However, only 566 licences of traffic rule violators were suspended.
The licences were suspended temporarily for six types of violations enlisted in a SC order – ferrying passengers in goods carriage, overloading in goods carriages, using mobile phones while driving, overspeeding, drunken driving, and jumping traffic signal.
As many as 4200 traffic violations were detected, and half of those were relating to ferrying passengers in goods carriage, using mobile phones while driving and drunken driving. Consequently suspension of 2787 driving licences had been sought for the abovementioned offences.
The enforcement authorities booked cases against more than 3680 vehicle owners against such offences, and out of which 915 were prosecuted for drunken driving.
At least 223 driving licences have been suspended for the offence of carrying passenger in goods carriages, while 148 violators faced music for using mobile phone while driving. Some 140 traffic rule violators saw their licences suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol.
However the incidence of overspeeding has seen a sharp decline from January to March this year as only three motorists have been fined as compared to 118 during the period of October to December 2016. It must be noted here only 47 licences were suspended for overspeeding although 66 had been recommended for suspension.
Interestingly, not a single licence was suspended for the offence of overloading in goods carriages although six driving licences had been recommended for suspension. At least 256 cases were booked for the particular offence.
As many as 127 vehicles were booked for ‘red-light jumping’ in the last six months. The authorities had recommended suspension of 96 driving licences, but only eight were suspended.
The cases of riding of two-wheeler without wearing helmet almost doubled last quarter as 32567 motorists were found violating the norm as opposed to 19031 cases booked in the second quarter of 2016.
As regards driving without fastening seat belt, altogether 13820 cases were booked in the last two quarters.
As far as the offences of helmetless riding and driving without fastening seat belt are concerned, the enforcement authorities have to organise two-hour counselling session for rule violators. However, such a session is hardly conducted.
But the transport department informed the committee that it has counselled almost all the violators.
Figures with the department say that some 83 people were killed and 504 injured in 1120 serious accidents that took place at different parts of the state from January to March, last year. And during same period this year as many as 84 people lost their lives in 1064 fatal accidents.