Be prepared to be off roads for a minimum of 3 months as the Supreme Court directed committee comes down with an iron hand on traffic violations due to mobile phone usage while driving in Maharashtra.
The Traffic Department is all set to strictly enforce the three-year old government resolution that mandates Traffic Police across India to cancel driving licenses of drivers caught using their phones while being behind the wheel. The penalty for such traffic offenders is suspension from driving for a minimum span of 3 months.
The Traffic Department has started sending a circular to every Traffic Police branch. This circular directs Traffic Police to crack down on such traffic violators and then forward the details of their licenses to the RTO for suspension of at least 3 months to immediate effect.
This ‘Zero Tolerance’ initiative is applicable to six categories of traffic violations – speed driving, drunk driving, being on a call while driving, jumping signals, overloading of a commercial vehicle and ferrying passengers in a commercial vehicle. The initiative is already being rigorously implemented on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is soon to be enforced on all other highways in the country.
Reportedly, this move is the result of a review meeting organized on 12th November, 2018 by a committee appointed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. This committee meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary of Maharashtra. A staggering 35,800 crashes, leading to more than 12,200 fatalities were reported in Maharashtra alone in the year 2017. In the wake of rising fatalities due to road crashes, as a result of irresponsible driving, this step is an effort to reduce such incidents by 10%. The circular sent to the Traffic Police branch also mentions that an action report has to be prepared by the Traffic Department of every state in India, based on the data sent to them by the State Traffic Police branches about the essential details about the cancelled driving licenses. This report has to be forwarded to the committee appointed by the Supreme Court.
The committee came to the conclusion that the Traffic Police was not doing its part in controlling avoidable road accidents caused due to basic traffic violations. As solely penalizing traffic offenders are not apparently bearing results, a more constructive approach would be required to restrict road accidents.
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