The traffic police, in a joint action with the Regional Transport Office (RTO), have suspended 3,137 licences a fortnight after the ‘three-month licence suspension’ drive for traffic violations.
Officers from the traffic police, however, said the joint drives that are being carried only during the day are “restricting the prompt action”.
According to rules, an RTO officer had to be present with the policeman for the immediate suspension of licences. Once a motorist is caught for an offence that amounts to three-month suspension, the licence is seized by a traffic officer and given to the RTO officer for suspension.
The joint action was conducted at select locations in the past two weeks. However, the number of joint teams did not remain consistent and had to be reduced depending upon the RTO officers’ availability.
While the joint drives were carried out only during the day [the working hours of the RTO], the traffic police continue to take action later but cannot suspend licences.
“The powers to suspend the licences rest with the RTO. The traffic police can only confiscate the licences and send them to the RTO for further action,” said Milind Bharambe, joint commissioner of police, traffic.
In the fortnight, action could be taken only against five drink drivers during the day, traffic officials said. The other motorists caught later for drink driving during the regular checking have to be produced before the court and their licences are suspended by the court.
Traffic police officers, however, said they will follow the government resolution even in the absence of RTO officers, only the licences will be suspended later by the RTO. They will also seize licences for offences such as signal jumping, rash driving, and using phone while driving.
A total of 2,748 bikers were caught for riding without helmet and 751motorists were caught for driving without seatbelt till Thursday after the action started on January 6. Both the offences attract a two-hour counselling session.
Out of the 3,137 licenses suspended, 1,279 motorists were caught for jumping the red light. Signal jumping remained the second most common offence after riding without helmet.
Motorists and bikers were caught for several offences in the fortnightly drive of Mumbai traffic police and RTO
Riding without helmets: 2,748
Driving without seatbelt: 751
Jumping signal: 1,279
Using mobile when driving: 234
Drink driving: 5
Overloading heavy vehicles: 613
Licences suspended: 3,137