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Kerala acts tough on errant motorists, to cancel licence of drivers on drugs

CM directs police, MVD to hold joint inspections at regular intervals

January 25, 2023 07:32 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:43 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Kerala government has decided to act tough against those who drive under the influence of drugs and other intoxicants. A high-level meeting on road safety chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Wednesday suggested cancelling the licence of those driving under the influence of drugs.

The meeting directed the Motor Vehicles department (MVD) to take strict action against those who drive under the influence of alcohol and other stimulants by making use of specially arranged vehicles to detect such cases.

Highway patrolling will be strengthened as part of acting tough against traffic violators. Emphasising the need to ensure police presence at violation hotspots, the Chief Minister directed the police and the MVD to hold joint inspections at regular intervals. To prevent bike stunts on roads, cyber-patrolling will be strengthened with the help of modern technology and the licence of repeat offenders will be cancelled, the meeting suggested.

Mr. Vijayan also directed to strengthen speed governor inspections to ensure that vehicles are driven at within the prescribed speed limits. The meeting issued instructions towards making use of modern technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) cameras, to check traffic violations. Regular functioning of cameras should also be ensured by authorities, said the Chief Minister.

The e-challan system should be linked to the automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to ensure timely issuance of receipts. A detailed study on installation of dashboard cameras in heavy vehicles should be done and a report must be submitted, the meeting suggested. It was also directed to prepare guidelines on avoiding accidents involving pedestrians.

Necessary action will be taken to reduce accidents by holding road safety audits on national highways, State highways and other important roads. Traffic engineering designs will be developed by giving emphasis on road safety. The MVD and the police have been told to ensure compliance with road safety regulations, while local self-government bodies have been directed to ensure street lights on roads.

Revenue, Mining and Geology, Legal Metrology, Motor Vehicles, and the Police departments should take coordinated action to control overloading of goods vehicles, the meeting suggested.

The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) has been told to provide the latest real-time accident data. Steps should be taken if the Motor Vehicles Act needs to be amended to include new offences in the list of compoundable offences, it was suggested.

It should also be ensured that the guidelines prepared for schoolchildren’s recreational trips are strictly followed. Promotion campaigns on road safety should be intensified further through schools, colleges, public institutions and so on.

The Chief Minister also informed that instructions have been given to include road safety in the higher secondary syllabus.

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