Drivers of all vehicles may get licence cancelled for talking on phone
Kolkata: Not only buses or trucks, but drivers of all sorts of vehicles may have to face the similar consequence of cancellation of driving licence if they are caught twice speaking on phone while driving.
According to the order of the state Transport department, "Further considering the potential danger to public and resultant fatality arising particularly out of accidents of heavy motor vehicles, both passenger and goods, that is buses and trucks, the offence of using mobile phone while driving may be punished with disqualification of the driver from holding driving licence or revocation of his driving licence in terms of Section 19 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, read with Rule 21 (25) of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, by the appropriate authority, if deemed fit."
The department issued the order following the bus accident in Murshidabad which claimed 44 lives on Monday. It was found that the driver of the ill-fated bus was speaking on his cell phone while driving. As a result, he failed to control it and the bus fell into the river after breaking the railing of the bridge.
Though it was the driver of a bus whose alleged negligence had claimed the lives of so many people in Murshidabad, as per the order, "similar actions/punishment (revocation of driving licence) may also be taken in case of drivers of categories of vehicles other than those mentioned above, for any second or subsequent similar offence, if the appropriate authority deems it fit".
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed the Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha to take necessary steps so that licences of drivers get cancelled if they are caught breaking traffic norms by speaking on mobile phone while driving.
Subsequently, Kolkata Police has also given out a Whatsapp number, on which common people can send photographs and other details of a driver speaking over cell phone while driving.
It has also been mentioned in the order that "any photograph or electronic evidence of a driver speaking over phone while driving will be taken as a sufficient proof of the offe- nce".
According to police officers, the step has been taken as it was found that speaking over phone while driving leads to distraction and it is one of the causes of accident. The step of cancellation of driving licence will minimise the tendency of people to speak on mobile phone while driving.