Kerala

Order giving sweeping powers to Enforcement RTOs welcomed

An order of the Transport Commissioner dated February 9 providing sweeping powers to the 14 Enforcement Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) in the State and about 350 uniformed personnel under them has widely been welcomed, even as a section of officers say this can affect their primary task of enforcing road-safety rules.

As per the order, the Enforcement RTO {RTO(E)} concerned will be the convener of the District Road Safety Council in place of the RTO, who hitherto wielded this responsibility. The RTO(E) has also been authorised to suspend driving licences of erring motorists, if the need arose.

In addition, the RTO(E) (or the motor vehicle inspector (MVI) designated by him) ought to inspect vehicles involved in accidents according to the area each enforcement squad operates in – a responsibility hitherto of the RTO (or the MVI designated by him) concerned. The order comes with a caveat that all ‘administrative works’ relating to the suspension of driving licences (which the RTO(E) must henceforth do) shall continue to be carried out in the regional transport offices.

Welcoming the order, a senior Motor Vehicles department (MVD) official says the enforcement personnel can execute these additional tasks, if their manpower is increased. “Their duties now cover rule enforcement and prompt response at accident spots. But the subsequent inspection of vehicles involved in accidents used to be done by personnel from the RTO office concerned, consuming the time of both sets of officials.”

He says the suspension of driving licences too needs timely changes and the order has taken care of that. Henceforth, the RTO(E) will be able to suspend the licence of motorists who flout safety norms on the spot, depending on the gravity of the offence.

The officer will also be able to issue a notice to suspend the licence, based on feedback from the MVI concerned. This will do away with the cumbersome procedures and the delay in suspending the licence, when regular RTOs wielded the power. Moreover, enforcement personnel are better placed to take a decision on suspending the licence as they get to see the offence first hand, he adds.

Taking a critical stance, another MVD official says motorists can question before court the RTO (E) suspending their driving licence, since it is issued by the regular RTO who heads the regional transport office. “The system in vogue till the GO was issued was better, since enforcement personnel could focus on enforcing safety norms, while administrative and other works were done by personnel of the RTO office,” he says.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 3:26:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/order-giving-sweeping-powers-to-enforcement-rtos-welcomed/article38419696.ece