To effectively check road crashes here, the Punjab Police on Thursday decided to recommend driving license cancellation of those "rash drivers" against whom charge sheets for causing death or injuries to others had been submitted in the local courts.
Thereafter, such rash drivers would lose the right to drive vehicles on the roads for life or for specified period as decided by the transport authorities concerned. Jalandhar is the first city in Punjab to introduce such a punitive measure.
Speaking to Hindustan Times here, police commissioner Gaurav Yadav revealed that the traffic branch had been asked to identify, collect and collate data of such rash drivers, estimated to be over 500, from all the city police stations for the past three years.
"We will recommend such cases to district transport officer (DTO) for cancellation of driving licenses, as data collection exercise will take three days," Yadav said, adding the case history along with FIR's copy in each case would be separately submitted to transport authorities. This pilot project could be replicated later in other cities as well.
While 185 persons were killed in 177 road crashes during 2010 in the city, known as the NRI hub of the state, the tally witnessed a drastic cut in 2011, as 80 persons lost their life in 79 fatal mishaps. The Road Safety in 10 countries (RS 10) project of the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched here in association with the city police to check drunk driving in February 2011 is being viewed as one of the factors in road mishaps' decline. The death toll figure was 86 in 2012.
"As many as 36 persons were killed in past six months. We can't be mute spectator to these road crashes leading to killings of innocent persons. We have adopted zero tolerance against rash drivers and driving license cancellation is a major step to deprive them the right to drive on the roads. It will strengthen road safety campaign," Yadav said.
The accused in cases registered under section 304 A (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC would be liable to lose their driving licenses.
DTO Dalwinderjit Singh said that the section 19 of the Motor Vehicle Act empowers the licensing authority to disqualify a person from holding a driving license or revoke such license, who by his or her conduct as driver of a motor vehicle shown that his driving is likely to be attended with danger to the public.
"On receipt of police recommendation, we will serve show cause notice upon license holder, seeking explanation on why his or her driving license should not be cancelled. After giving due opportunity of being heard, the final decision to cancel the license will be taken as per law," he quipped.
Deaths in Punjab in road crashes
2010 --- 3900
2011 --- 4300
(Source: National Crime Records Bureau)