Scrutiny as part of a move initiated to make driving tests stringent

In a crackdown to nip the problem of road accidents in the bud, the Motor Vehicles Department on Thursday conducted a district-wide check on over 25 driving schools and found rampant irregularities in their functioning.

“The checking on the schools is a direct result of a move initiated by State Transport Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh to make driving tests stringent, and produce well-trained drivers in a bid to reduce road accidents,” Rajeev Puthalath, Regional Transport Officer, Kozhikode, said.

Mr. Singh, in his maiden visit to Kozhikode after taking charge as Transport Commissioner, had warned that drivers found responsible for major road accidents would have their driving licences forfeited.

His visit had been in the backdrop of multiple road accidents at Payyoli, where seven persons were killed.

Orders

Mr. Singh had also issued orders to ruthlessly deal with the drivers who caused fatal road accidents.

In Thursday’s check, thedepartment ordered the closure of three driving schools and served showcause notice on five other establishments caught operating even after the expiry of their permits.

“We have warned of stern action. Our team members also gave directions to the school authorities for the better functioning of their schools,” Mr. Puthalath said.

Use of technology

He said the department was moving towards the use of technology in the form of high-speed digital cameras to help with on-road checking, especially to catch motorists without helmets, over-speeding, illegible vehicle number plates, and usage of dark films.

The cameras would be installed in the department’s mobile checking vehicles. Images of motorists violating the law would be captured and high resolution pictures developed.

These high-resolution photographs would then be annexed with individual case reports submitted in the court of law.

Road patrolling

The check comes after the decision taken at a high-level meeting headed by the Transport Commissioner with the district’s Motor Vehicle Department officials to intensify road patrolling in Kozhikode and Kannur districts and increase the use of surveillance cameras.

As per the official statistics available from July 1 till date, the department registered 1,400 cases of traffic violations and collected Rs.11 lakh in fines.

Statistics

Of this, 394 cases dealt with motorists not wearing helmets, 113 cases with rash and negligent driving, and 134 with cars using tinted films beyond the permissible limit on their windows.

Sixty one cases were charged against autorickshaw drivers for not fitting fare meters.

Mr. Puthalath said there would be no respite in traffic violations’ checking. The department would continue the process even on holidays.

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