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The Uttar Pradesh Transport Department's server crashed on 11 September, 2019 thanks to the overflow of applications for learners licenses. Since the traffic rules are being enforced with maximum penalties, people seem to have woken up and are now applying for licenses.
The drastic increase in the number of applications has left authorities wondering about the number of people riding/driving without licenses till now. Waiting periods to get driver's licenses are now stretching up to one month thanks to the sudden surge in the number of applications.
According to TOI, In Noida and Ghaziabad, the road transport authorities give 100 slots and 210 slots respectively for driver's license tests. Earlier, it would be possible to get appointments for the test within a day or two.
Now though, with the Ghaziabad officials having over 15,000 applications pending, it is impossible to get slots in under a month. Himesh Tiwary, Assistant Regional Transport Officer at Gaziabad was quoted as saying, "There is much confusion about the new penalties among people and they are trying to get all paperwork and records in line."
Long queues are now common at almost all major cities across India as motorists line-up to get their licenses renewed or to apply for a new license. The process of applying for and getting a driver's license in India are fairly simple.
One has to download the learner's license form from the transport department's website, fill it and then upload it onto the website to get an appointment. One will then have to show up at the road transport office for a written test.
Upon successful completion of the test, the RTO issues a learner's license. The motorist then has to ride/drive with the learner's license for a minimum period of a month and a maximum period of six months, always with a permanent license holder as the passenger.
Earlier, it would take about two weeks for the smart card to turn up at the applicant's doorstep. Now though, the entire process is lagging by a large margin. Getting an appointment for a learner's license could take upto 15 days while the process for the permanent license could take up to two months depending on the RTO and the population of the area it serves.
Riding/driving without a valid driver's license leads to a fine of Rs 5,000 under the new motor vehicle amendment act. Motorists do not want to take the risk of paying that much, and hence are rushing to get their documents in place.
Most of the people queuing up at road transport offices are there to renew licenses or apply for new ones. Some of their licenses lapsed a while ago but weren't bothered to renew it until the new rules were implemented.
Others have all been riding/driving without a license for ages, but were fearless thanks to the lenient policemen and basic fines. Now with the hefty fines, these motorists are feeling the pinch.
Thoughts On Transport Department Servers Crashing As Thousands Of People Apply For Driver's Licenses
The new motor vehicle act and the fines imposed by it has surely made people afraid of the law. One of the reasons for implementing hefty fines was to get motorists to fear the law and hence, its objectives have been achieved. Just getting motorists to apply for licenses is not enough.
If a difference has to be felt in terms of safety, the tests for the issual of a driver's license has to be tougher and stricter. This way, only those qualified to drive can be found on the roads and the number of accidents will be reduced drastically.