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The Traffic Police in Karnataka are on a mission to put drunk driving, and driving under the influence away for good, and they're using cancellation of a Drivers License as a weapon. Motorists in Karnataka who drive under the influence of alcohol are paying a price. As is, there is a 170 per cent increase in the number of those who had their driving licenses canceled through 2018, as compared to two years earlier.
According to Economic Times Auto, there was a big rise in cancellation of driving licenses for all offenses during the same period, and the Transport Department canceled 20,611 driving licenses during 2016, and just under twice the number, at 41,134 in 2018.
The number of motorists who lost their licenses for drunk driving during 2016 stood at 12,151. This number increased to 14,881 during 2017 and climber higher to 32,765 in 2018, that's a massive increase in numbers!
In total, 83,690 driving licenses have been canceled between 2016 and 2018 of which 59,797 for driving or riding under the influence of alcohol.
Trans port Departments cancel licenses on recommendation from the Traffic Police. Some violations that call for a cancellation of a drivers license besides drunk driving, are jumping traffic signals, over-speeding, overloading of goods, carrying passengers on goods vehicles, using phones while driving, riding without a helmet, and driving without seat belts. While drunk drivers or riders lose their licenses for a single violation, it usually takes multiple counts of other offenses before the Traffic Police recommend cancellation.
Bearing in mind that a majority of drunk driving cases are from Bangalore, a senior Transport Department official said, "We are taking stringent action against violators, especially those driving or riding under the influence of alcohol."
Officials say that those punished with a canceled drivers license have to re-apply for a new one. Applications and processes involve having to hold a learner' license for the minimum period, and then applying for a drivers license. An official stated, "They have to apply for a learner's license and then apply for driving license. They will be issued a license only after passing the mandatory driving test."
MA Saleem, Assistant Director General of Police, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, and Crime & Technical Services said that the risk of a road accident was higher in cases of drivers who consumed alcohol, even in small amounts.
He remarked, "Accidents by a drunken driver are generally due to poor judgment, slow reaction, delayed reflexes, poor visual attention, improper coordination and difficulty in identifying road bottlenecks. Consumption of alcohol also results in a euphoric effect which makes an individual shed inhibitions and violate traffic rules."
The Police feel there is a need to enhance the law by amending Section 185 of the Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, thereby increasing punishments for driving under the influence of alcohol. ADGP Saleem said, "Apart from booking cases, there is also a need for sustained awareness campaigns to educate road users about the ill effects of drinking and driving."
Thoughts About The Cancellation Of Licenses For Drunk Driving
We agree with the ADGP. In fact, we think there should be a ban from driving on top of cancellation of licenses. Drunk driving is a menace to society, and it's been a menace all of us have nurtured. It's about time that the Traffic Police started this drive.