Kerala gets flak for not enforcing road safety norms

National Road Safety Council member Kamal Soi has criticised the State government for failing to enforce high-security registration plates (HSRP) for old vehicles and introduce smart cards for driving licences and registration certificates issued in Kerala.

Accusing the government of violating Central Motor Vehicles Rules and the notifications issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Dr. Soi said on Thursday that Kerala was the only State not to implement the reform thus far.

While all motor vehicles manufactured after April 1, 2019, have been equipped with the tamper-proof HSRPs, the government has not taken any initiative to implement the directive for older vehicles.

90% vehicles

The road safety expert who visited Transport Minister Antony Raju a day ago pointed out that roughly 90% of the 1.52 crore registered vehicles in Kerala were manufactured prior to April 1, 2019. He said the plates comprised a hot-stamped hologram and a unique identification number that could not be counterfeited.

“Such security features enable easy identification of vehicles in case of accidents. Considering the high prevalence of vehicle-borne crimes, such aspects assume great relevance. The details of the owners can be obtained even if the vehicles are burnt,” he said.

Kerala had not been able to roll out the microprocessor chip-embedded smart cards for driving licences and registration certificates for vehicles. Such cards, compliant with the Smart Card Operating System for Transport Application (SCOSTA) designed by National Informatics Centre, also contain security features to prevent duplication, fraud, and misuse. Having been configured in MoRTH’s centralised Vahan 4.0 portal, these cards also enable e-challan management and transparency in the activities of the Transport Department, Dr. Soi said.

Despite awarding the contract to public-sector undertaking ITI Ltd., the State government is yet to provide the technical specifications for implementing the Smart Optical Card-based Registration Certificate Management System for issuing the smart cards.

Dr. Soi said he had submitted petitions to the government, and added that he would move the court if implementation of the reforms dragged on in the State.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 7:51:13 AM |

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