In a bid to minimise road accidents, the Bangalore City Traffic police has decided to come down heavily on motorists using mobile phones or driving drunk. One of the actions being taken is to recommend suspension of driving licences (DL) of offenders.

Since April 1, the traffic police have recommended suspension of 136 DLs of first-time offenders. Of the total number, 63 were caught using mobile phone while at the wheel, 42 were found drunk while driving, 17 were caught riding on footpath, and 14 were penalised for reckless driving.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B. Dayananda told The Hindu that DLs of the first-time offenders had been confiscated and submitted to the Transport Department for suspension.

To a question, he said that the use of Bluetooth headset or earphones to talk on mobile phones while driving may also be considered for suspension if the driver causes inconvenience to other commuters. “It can’t be generalised. It depends on the case,” he said.

Explaining the procedure of the suspension, a senior traffic police officer said that the offender concerned will have to pay a spot fine or pay the penalty in the court and get his vehicle released. Meanwhile, the seized DL is submitted to the Transport Department.

To initiate action against traffic violators, the Traffic Police recently invoked the provision for suspending DLs of first-time offenders of traffic rules under the Karnataka State Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and also the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1989.

The Traffic police’s action comes even as incidence of drunken driving in the city remained high, particularly during weekends, despite carrying out several awareness campaigns for safe driving. Take for instance on March 29, the city police checked 13,442 vehicles and booked cases against 1,076 for drunken driving.

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