Obtaining a driving licence will no longer be child’s play in the coming days. A draft plan prepared by the Union transport ministry proposes that anyone who wishes to obtain a driving licence must provide full details about the institute from which he/she has learnt driving. The draft says anyone seeking a licence should not only give details of the date and enrolment number with the driving school, but also information about the training period, certificate number and date of issuance of driving school certificate to the motor licensing officer. It is learnt that the draft was readied in the wake of the “Accidents in India 2017” report by the police suggesting that drivers’ fault was the single biggest factor responsible for 84 per cent of accidents, 80.3 per cent deaths and injuries to 83.9 per cent.
Earlier, the transport ministry had also linked driving licences to Aadhaar to check fake and multiple licences being issued across the country. Linking driving licences with the 12-digit unique number will help regional transport officials identify a driver or a rider easily. The ministry also decided that candidates must undergo a two-day training session for renewal of old driving licences.
This is the first time the ministry has proposed to tighten the rules to check fake driving licences to ensure road safety in the country. With the new rule in place, the nature of driving licences will change, and it is hoped it will also help to reduce accidents. A transport sector expert said: “Those who have not learnt driving from training schools but do know how to drive will have to fill out ‘Form 5’ to get a training certificate from the authority.”
The expert, who sought anonymity, said: “This is being done to end fake and multiple licences. As of now, there’s no way for the government to identify if more than one licence is being processed by any individual. The driver can have more than one licence that can be procured through various means.”
The transport ministry is also in the process of getting the licence database ready, which will then be put up on a common platform to avoid duplication. This platform can be accessed by any RTO or traffic police unit to check if the driver or the rider already has a driving licence issued in any other state. This will also help officials to check if the licence was impounded or suspended for any reason.
The “Accidents in India 2017” report stated that as many as 17 people died in 55 road accidents per hour on an average last year, with nearly half in the 18-35 age group. A total of 4,80,652 road accidents took place in India last year, causing the loss of 1,50,785 lives and 4,94,624 people facing serious injuries.