Stating that there are flaws in the process of sending driving licence with the recommendation of suspension through post or by hand to various registration and licensing authorities (RLAs) including that of Chandigarh, the UT Traffic Police has started recommending suspension of licence online.
In the first phase, the traffic police have attached itself to the website of Chandigarh RLA and recommended the suspension of 289 driving licences issued by RLA Chandigarh in the last 10 days. The process to link with RLAs of other states especially of neighbouring districts, Panchkula, Mohali, Ambala, Patiala and Solan, is under way.
Rakesh Kumar Populi, in-charge of RLA, UT, said, “Earlier, we used to receive recommendations manually, which reached our office late which proved beneficial for the offenders. Now, we have started receiving recommendations online and we simultaneously issue show-cause notices on the address of traffic offenders. The online system filled the gap between RLA and UT traffic police. Traffic offenders were given 10 days’ time to present their side of the defence before the RLA.”
So far, Chandigarh Traffic Police has recommended 3,783 driving licences for suspension to different RLAs but received the feedback about the suspension of challans for 1,257 driving licences between January 1 and May 25 this year.
A senior traffic police officer said, “We were surprised to see the low response to our recommendation and decided to review the process. We found that in a number of cases, driving licences, which were sent to RLAs with a letter of recommendation for suspension did not even reach the RLAs. So, we concluded that either our recommendations were not reaching the concerning RLA officers or the offenders were adopting other means to prevent their licences from being suspended.”
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “We also observed that a number of offenders preferred to pay challan in traffic courts located at District Courts, Sector 43, just to avoid the suspension of licence and now we are also appealing to law officers to suspend the challans of offenders.”
SSP (Traffic) Shashank Anand said, “Yes, we have started sending the recommendation of suspending driving licences online and getting positive feedback for the past one week.” He, however, refused to comment on the reasons behind the low feedback of traffic police recommendations.
Traffic police recommend cancellation of challans for five specific offences. These are drink driving, jumping red light, driving at a speed exceeding the limit, using cellphone while driving and not wearing seatbelt. A traffic police officer said, “Carrying overload in goods carriage and carrying persons in goods carriages is also an offence in which the driving licence gets suspended but challans in this category are issued by the State Transport Authority.”